A teenage girl, who punched her mother in the face, was acting out over the death of her father, a court has heard.
The 16-year-old from Bury St Edmunds, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Bury Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday (December 31), having previously pleaded guilty to two charges of theft from a shop, two of theft in a dwelling, assault by beating and failure to surrender to court bail.
Tess Mann, prosecuting, told magistrates the teen’s problems started after her father died unexpectedly which she had found ‘very upsetting’ and ‘difficult’.
She began causing problems at school, used cannabis, drank alcohol and, on November 2, stole £20 from her mum’s purse.
“Her mum said it wasn’t the first time she had stolen money from her, but it was the first time she reported the matter to police,” said Ms Mann.
Then, on November 22, her mother challenged her over some missing music equipment, worth £350, and told her she had an hour to return a work phone she had taken, worth £9.
Ms Mann said the situation escalated with the teen hitting her mother in the chest and ribs and, after falling during a struggle over the phone, kicking at her shins. She also punched her in the face.
“Her mum said she was shocked and upset by this and, although she had hit her before, it had never been with this sort of aggression,” said Ms Mann.
Explaining the other charges, Ms Mann said the teen and a friend were detained on suspicion of stealing from New Look, in Bury, and attempting to steal from the town’s Peacocks store on October 16.
The girls apologised and appeared to have returned all the items but were later found in possession of badges, worth £2.50, from HMV and slipper socks, valued at £7.98, from New Look.
The teen also failed to turn up at court on December 10 after having been released on bail in criminal proceedings.
In mitigation, Lyndon Davies said she had made ‘some good progress in the last couple of weeks’ and had accepted her behaviour towards her mother was ‘not acceptable’.
The mother said she believed her daughter had been punished enough by losing her father and she just wanted her to ‘get the help she needs’.
“She’s dealt with some difficult times, we both have, and she’s made some mistakes, but I think she’s turned a corner,” she said.
The girl’s current referral order was extended by six months ‘to give her longer to work with the youth offending team’.