A WORRIED mother whose vulnerable son was prosecuted for angrily punching a wall pleaded with magistrates to ban him from social media.

The woman spoke out as her 17-year-old son was being sentenced for causing criminal damage.

At Carlisle's Rickergate Youth Court, magistrates heard how on June 10 this year the teenager lost his temper when he arrived at his Carlisle home and was told by his mother that his phone was not available.

His mother told the teenager that his phone was not in the house.

Despite this, the boy went upstairs to look for it.

Unable to find it, he snapped, venting his anger on the hallway wall in his home.

Pam Ward, prosecuting, described what happened as he came down the stairs without finding his phone.

"He punched the wall in the hallway, and this caused two fist-sized holes," said the prosecutor.

The 17-year-old admitted a single offence of criminal damage.

When police arrived at the property, they found the teenager sitting on the sofa.

The court heard that his criminal record already includes offences of violence, including an assault causing actual bodily harm.

He also suffered from learning difficulties and has had episodes of major mental illness, known as psychosis, the court heard

This has led to him having four hospital admissions, three of them being on a compulsory basis under the Mental Health Act..

From the back of the court, the boy's mother made an emotional appeal to magistrates.

She told them: "My worry is social media: if anything can be done to block him from using it. He can sell a £200 jacket for £10.

"There are people taking advantage of him.

"He's very vulnerable.

"These people are not his friends.

"I'm asking if there is anything you can do to block him from using social media."

Magistrates pointed out that they have no power to order that the teenager is barred from social media.

They imposed a six month conditional discharge, meaning that the teenager will not be punished provided he stays out of trouble for that period.

His mother added:"I can't put up with that behaviour.

"I don't know what he's going to do next. My feeling is that it won't be long before he's readmitted to hospital."