Burnley teen tearaway ‘Charlie Chips’ finally behind bars

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A TEENAGE tearaway said to have brought misery to the lives of residents in part of Burnley, is finally behind bars after his luck ran out.

Charlie “Charlie Chips” Green, now 15, has never been locked up before, despite clocking up a long criminal record, court appearances and being out of control for three years.

Green, the subject of an anti-social behaviour order which he has repeatedly flouted and who has been given chance after chance for his crime sprees, was sent to custody for four months, at Burnley Crown Court.

Green, with accomplice Alfie Dunstan (21), was part of a gang which targeted and confronted a taxi driver. The victim was attacked, cash and cigarettes stolen from him and then his taxi was kicked, in November 2009.

Green can be named publicly for the first time in criminal proceedings, after a judge ruled it was in the public interest and removed reporting restrictions. His crimes had previously been dealt with by the youth court, where offenders keep their anonymity in press reports. He was named and shamed last March and June, when he received the interim and then full ASBOs – in civil proceedings – in a bid by Burnley Council to give the people of Rosegrove some peace.

Green, of Liverpool Road, Burnley, whose “supportive, but long-suffering” mother accompanied him to the crown court hearing, had admitted theft and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour. Dunstan, of Buccleuch Street, was jailed for eight months, after admitting affray. Dunstan, said to have hit the victim, became a dad earlier this week and sobbed during the proceedings.

Judge Beverly Lunt told Green, who wants to be a landscape gardener, he had a “dreadful record.” She said in August 2009 he had been given a four-month supervision order, he later got a three-month curfew and, in October 2009, the defendant had been given another supervision order for four months. Yet, 18 days later he was involved in trouble with the “vulnerable” taxi driver.

She said a tagged curfew had not stopped him offending and he had committed more crimes since, while on bail.

The judge said he had been subject to an ASBO, youth rehabilitation and supervision orders and had been due before the crown court. Judge Lunt continued: “Nothing has deterred you from offending and that’s sad indeed for a youth of 15. Even at your age, there must be a custodial sentence.”

The judge said since the taxi driver attack, Dunstan had had 14 months to prove himself but had continued to break the law. He had breached a suspended jail term but did not get sent to prison. Judge Lunt went on: “It is wholly unrealistic to think you would comply with any suspended sentence.”

The ASBO hearing last March had been told how, in the months before, Green had been arrested for robbery, common assault, burglary, verbal abuse, possession of cannabis, harassment, witness intimidation, damage and obstructing police.

Simon Gurney, Green’s barrister, told the crown court he had a “disgraceful” record for his age and the court faced the stark choice of detention or a community sentence.

Green had never received a sentence of imprisonment. He had been taken into care for a month last July, that seemed to have been a “rude awakening” for him and his mother would say his conduct had improved.

Mr Gurney said, since August, the defendant, who “picked the pocket” of the taxi driver, had committed one set of offences. Apart from that, he had been offence-free. The barrister said: “He is at a point in his life where he needs support and needs to be guided on the right path. He has asked me to express his remorse for what he’s done. He recognises he can’t behave in this way any longer.”

For Dunstan, Jeremy Lasker said he had a bad record. The defendant had not been in trouble since last September, which for him was something of an achievement. He was motivated to change and had cut down the amount of cannabis he used.

Dunstan lived with his partner and her mother and his partner was due out of hospital.

The barrister added: “Should a custodial sentence be imposed, the effect would be crushing, not only to the defendant, but also to the young family.”