A shopkeeper whose window was smashed by a “feral” 15-year-old boy is furious with the court system after he was given an "inadequate" sentence for a second violent crime.

Simon Lawrence, owner of Kwik Vape in Tarring Road, Worthing, which had its front door window smashed in last year, described it as a “missed opportunity by the courts” to punish repeat offenders.

The boy, 15, has been sentenced for criminal damage at Kwik Vape and two counts of assault which were at a different store nearby after pleading guilty to the incidents which happened on February 21 last year.

The Argus can reveal he is the same boy who was told to pay £22 after swinging a kitchen knife at a shopworker in Boxgrove, also in Worthing, exactly two weeks later on March 7.

The Argus: The boy was sentenced for threatening a shop worker with a knife in Worthing last MarchThe boy was sentenced for threatening a shop worker with a knife in Worthing last March

The boy was sentenced at Worthing Youth Court last Thursday.

He has been given an 18-month youth rehabilitation order under supervision, a 25-day activity requirement, a four-month curfew from 7pm to 6am, and has been ordered to pay £100 to both victims of the assaults.

Mr Lawrence said: “The courts had a duty to protect the public and I think they should have sentenced this individual to custody at a young offender institute.

“This would have served as a warning to other feral kids that there are consequences. It is yet another missed opportunity by the courts and evidence of how our soft, ineffective legal system is failing all of us.

“The 'compensation' of £100 is a further insult to the victims. The criminal damage to my shop and loss of trade was in excess of £800.

“This is yet another disappointing and woefully inadequate sentence handed out by judges. The previous sentence for wielding a knife was an insulting £22 fine which certainly doesn’t deter this type of feral brat.”

The damage to the vape shop door totalled £166.80.

The Argus previously reported on another shopkeeper’s frustration with the courts, when the boy, who was 14 at the time, was sentenced for threatening a person with a bladed article in April last year.

The Argus: The smashed window of Kwik Vape in WorthingThe smashed window of Kwik Vape in Worthing

He was given a two-year youth rehabilitation order, three month curfew with an electronic monitoring tag, as well as £22 victim surcharge for his parent/guardian to pay after swinging for the worker, who defended himself with a shopping basket.

Reporting restrictions set out under section 49 of the Children and Young Person’s Act means the boy the cannot be identified.

The law automatically bans identification of anyone under the age of under 18 to protect their anonymity and welfare.

Worthing District commander Chief Inspector Sarah Leadbeatter said: “A 15-year-old boy appeared in court in connection with offences against shop workers in Worthing, and has been sentenced for two counts of assault by beating and one count of causing criminal damage during incidents on February 21 last year.

The Argus: The shop has installed security barriers to help prevent youths from shoplifting at the storeThe shop has installed security barriers to help prevent youths from shoplifting at the store (Image: Kwik Vape)

“We are continuing to respond to residents’ concerns about antisocial behaviour from a small group of young people in and around Worthing, and continue to make arrests.

“However these issues cannot be solved by police alone, and require a continued partnership response.

“We work closely with agencies including the British Transport Police, youth justice teams, and with the local district and borough councils to tackle these issues.

“I would encourage anyone with concerns over antisocial behaviour to contact us and report it to us either on the Sussex Police website or via 101.”

There have been concerns around a spate of youth crime in Bognor, Worthing, Littlehampton, Lancing and Hove in recent months.

Kwik Vape has set up security barriers to try and prevent theft from youths in the area.

Headteachers from 11 schools have even written to parents addressing parents’ fears along with Sussex Police and urging people to send video evidence of youth crime to the force.

On Monday two youths, a 17-year-old and a 13-year-old, were arrested after a 16-year-old boy was stabbed outside McDonald's in Worthing town centre. They were held on suspicion of conspiring to cause grievous bodily harm. 

Sussex Police confirmed the 13-year-old boy arrested on Monday has been bailed, pending further enquiries.

While the 17-year-old boy who was arrested on suspicion of the same offence on Monday has been released without charge.

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Three more arrests were confirmed by the force following the stabbing.

On Tuesday, police arrested a 15-year-old boy on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm.

They also arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm.

Both boys remain in police custody at this time.

Yesterday, officers arrested a 13-year-old boy on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and affray. He also remains in custody at this time.