Moment a child swings a knife at a workman in Goring

A HERO Budgens worker who fought a knife-wielding child with a basket is furious that his attacker walked out of court.

The dramatic assault captured on his CCTV has led the frustrated worker to demand tougher penalties for the children and say ‘the courts are to blame’ for letting them off the hook.

The 14-year-old ‘monster’ can be seen entering the store before pulling out a large kitchen knife and swinging for the Budgens shopkeeper in Boxgrove, Goring.

He was given a two-year-old youth rehabilitation order which meant he had to wear an electronic tag and his parents or guardians had to pay a £22 victim surcharge.

It comes after The Argus revealed that 30 notorious children known to police, dubbed the ‘nominals of the West Coast’, were listed on a poster amid fears youngsters are causing trouble.

The child can be seen with a kitchen knife in the Budgens store in Boxgrove, Goring on March 7

The staff member, who wished not to be named, said: ‘The police did their part, they sent him to court. I only blame the justice system. They need to change the laws for under 18s.

“If you carry a knife like that, you are no longer a child. You came here to kill me or hurt me.

“When I was little, we made mistakes. I was mean but I never hurt anyone.

“Children have fun, it’s normal. What is not normal are the courts. They will not arrest you if you are under 18.

“I say to the government, what are you waiting for?

“Kids, they love damage, stealing and hurting because they know no one will stop them.

“He has a tag but what if he attacks? Nothing will change.

“They’ll wait for him to kill someone, then they’ll do something.

“When you move in hopes of a better life, you don’t expect this.”

Sussex Police said they are aware of the March 7 incident.

The Argus: Budgens in Boxgrove, Goring, where the knife incident happenedBudgens in Boxgrove, Goring, where the knife incident happened

A spokesperson said: ‘A 14-year-old boy has been charged and convicted of threatening a person with a bladed item.

“He appeared in Worthing Youth Court on April 14. He was convicted of threatening a person with a bladed article.

“A two-year youth rehabilitation order has been imposed. This includes supervision, as well as an extended activity requirement of 91 days. A three-month curfew was imposed with an electronic surveillance beacon. A victim surcharge of £22 was imposed on the boy’s parent/guardian.

Current sentencing laws state that any child aged 16 or 17 will face a custodial sentence of at least four months for their second offense under what is known as an order detention and training.

This can be given by a Youth Magistrate or Crown Court for people between the ages of 12 and 17 and aims to help young people stop offending through training and education.

The Argus: We see the worker defending himself with a shopping cartThe worker can be seen defending himself with a shopping basket

The law gives courts the discretion not to impose the sentence when there are specific circumstances relating to the offender or the offense that would make it “unjust”.

Factors which render the imposition of the mandatory sentence “unjust” include: progress made on the previous conviction, time elapsed since the previous conviction, delay in the initiation of the prosecution, the sentence would be manifestly excessive or inappropriate, the full penalty.

Police did not say whether the 14-year-old had ever been convicted.

For adults, the mandatory minimum sentence for threatening someone with a bladed item is six months.

There may be circumstances relating to the offense or the offender that make the imposition of the legal minimum sentence “unjust”.

The boy cannot be identified due to reporting restrictions under Section 49 of the Children and Young Persons Act 1933.

The law imposes an automatic restriction on the disclosure of information that identifies or is likely to identify any person under the age of 18 involved in proceedings in youth court as a victim, witness or defendant.

The Argus: A poster created by a British Transport Police officer for Southern Rail staff.  Pictured are 30 children known to authorities - dubbed the 'nominals of the West Coast'.  George Tilley, left, 15, and Archie Tilley, right, 16, are crossed out with their 12-year sentences written belowA poster created by a British Transport Police officer for Southern Rail staff. Pictured are 30 children known to authorities – dubbed the ‘nominals of the West Coast’. George Tilley, left, 15, and Archie Tilley, right, 16, are crossed out with their 12-year sentences written below

Yesterday we revealed a crime wave that is plaguing communities along the south coast.

Children ransacked shops near stations on the Worthing line from Goring to Hove.

The problem got so bad that the British Transport Police (BTP) made a poster of 30 notorious children which was hung in the offices of Southern Rail.

It contains snaps of 30 boys and girls including Archie and George Tilley who shattered Alan Willson’s skull, leaving the 47-year-old with permanent brain damage after beating him with logs last year at Longcroft Park, Worthing.

The purpose of the poster was to “contribute to safeguarding and crime prevention efforts” following the continued bullying of children.

BTP approached the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) – deeming the poster ‘inappropriate’.

The ICO gave advice and recommendations on data protection to BTP and closed the case without further action.

Tomorrow: Find out how ‘rampant and crazy’ shoplifting and now muggings are leaving staff terrified at a co-op.

Daniel C. Williams