Shropshire Star

Judge decries 'epidemic' of youth violence as he spares teen jail for having axe and threatening man

A judge has warned of an "epidemic of violence" among youths as a 16-year-old girl appeared before him for threatening a shop worker while in possession of an axe.

Telford Magistrates Court

District Judge Kevin Grego, sitting at Telford Magistrates Court on Wednesday, heard the teenage girl, who cannot be named for legal reasons, had travelled from her home in north Shropshire to Church Stretton last month.

The court was told that the young woman had downed "three quarters of a litre of vodka" before making the train journey, but was stopped as she tried to enter a shop in Lion Meadow when a store worker spotted something under her coat.

The court was told that after the member of staff stopped the teen from entering the store, she pulled out an axe and threatened him, causing him to evacuate the shop.

Judge Grego praised the actions of the shop worker, saying: "He handled it really sensibly. He engaged her in a way that lowered the temperature and he asked if she was all right.

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