A FOURTEEN-year-old Carlisle boy convicted of robbery and house burglary was quizzed by a judge about his interest in knives.

District Judge John Temperley was sentencing the teenager for robbing another youth of a small amount of cash, a house burglary, an assault and two knife possession offences.

The city’s youth court heard that the boy and another youth committed the robbery on August 22, stealing 71p from the victim. The youth carried out the burglary at a house in the west of the city on the same day, stealing a fruit bowl.

He denied taking kitchen knives during the burglary, as alleged by the prosecution.

The teenager was caught with a knife on streets in Carlisle on August 11 and September 19. He committed the assault on another boy on August 30. He pleaded guilty to all of the offences he was charged with.

The robbery victim said he believed that the defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had a knife with him when he stole the money, though the blade was not produced.

In court, defence lawyer John Smith told the District Judge that background reports showed that the youth, who has communication and learning difficulties, can be managed in the community.

Addressing the teenager, who has been in youth detention since September 25, the District Judge said he wanted to know more about the defendant’s “interest in knives.”

He told the boy: “Two of the matters I am dealing with today involve you having knives in your possession; and you have been to court before for having a knife in your possession.”

District Judge Temperley pointed out that the teenager, while in detention, had also been found with “sharp items” that he had made.

“Can you help me with what this interest is in knives?” asked the judge.

Shrugging his shoulders, the boy replied: “I don’t know.”

District Judge Temperley told the boy it was dangerous to carry a knife, not only because he may do something illegal with it but somebody else may take the from him and use it to harm him.

“All sorts of things can go horribly wrong,” said the judge. The teenager said he understood what the judge had told him.

The District Judge imposed a one-year youth rehabilitation order, which includes a three month 7pm to 7am tagged curfew; with supervision and a 91-day activity requirement.

The boy was warned to have no contact with the teenager with whom he was jointly charged with some of the offences that were before the court.

The judge declined to make a parenting order, concluding that it was not necessary as the family were doing what they can to help the boy, including by seeking help from professionals.

The boy’s father was in court to support his son.