The Guernsey Magistrate's Court has gone "against what the law suggested" to give a 17-year-old another chance to prove himself.
The defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared alongside 18-year-old Kyron Ogier, who pleaded guilty to charges of assault and criminal damage.
The pair had both been at a house party at Les Genats Estate in April this year when the incident that led to their joint court appearance took place.
Both had been drinking and were angered when the party was brought to an abrupt end because of a 16-year-old boy, who had turned up and begun arguing with another person.
The 16-year-old decided to walk the long route home to avoid further trouble, but noticed he was being followed by the two defendants. Without warning, Ogier ran ahead of the complainant, turned back to him and punched him in the face, causing the victim to fall to the floor. At this point, the younger defendant straddled his back in an attempt to stop him from getting up.
Pictured: The incident took place after a house party at Les Genats Estate. (file image)
The complainant suffered a swollen left eye and a cut to the bridge of his nose from the punch, as well as scratches on his legs from his fall to the floor.
Ogier was charged with assault while his co-defendant pleaded guilty to a count of public disorder.
The unnamed defendant was already on police bail when the incident took place, after officers caught him riding a scooter in the dark without lights, insurance or a crash helmet in March.
The pair were bailed again but, in July, Guernsey Police were alerted to another incident involving Ogier.
Defence Advocate Candy Fletcher explained how he had been drinking and was trying to act as a "peacekeeper" while two of his friends were arguing. He became upset when one of his friends pushed him, so he "lashed out" at the nearest object, being a neighbour's shed. Two of the shed's windows were smashed and Ogier was later arrested. He admitted the criminal damage and offered to pay for any damage he caused.
Pictured: Police were called and the defendant was arrested.
Both Advocate Fletcher and Advocate Liam Roffey gave mitigation for the teenage defendants.
Advocate Roffey explained how the unnamed defendant had been through a "substantial change" since his last appearance in court and had managed to stay out of trouble since being released on bail eight months ago.
"[The defendant] has an extremely complex and challenging background," he added. "He's only a young man. That background still fundamentally informs who [the defendant] is and the decisions he makes."
When the teenage defendants appeared before the Magistrate's Court, it was brought to Judge Graeme McKerrell's attention that the 17-year-old was in breach of a suspended prison sentence, which he was given as a "chance" last year when he appeared for a number of other offences.
The sentence was for three months, which usually would have to be served if further crimes were committed within two years. However, after nearly an hour of deliberation, Judge McKerrell decided to give the young man one last chance.
Pictured: The pair came "very, very close" to going straight to custody.
"With a considerable amount of trepidation and reluctance I am going to give you a second chance," he said on sentencing. "You will not get a third chance, so think on.
"You got very, very close today. I have gone against what the law suggested I should do."
Rather than going straight to custody, the 17-year-old has been sentenced to 120 hours of community service and has been disqualified from driving for 14 months.
Although Judge McKerrell said although he was "sceptical" of Ogier's remorse, he decided to give him another chance as well. He was sentenced to 100 hours of community service, an 18 month probation supervision order and for money to be paid towards the criminal damage.
"Both of you could have gone to youth detention today," he said. "Don't leave without breathing a sigh of relief that you got away with it today."
Pictured top: The Royal Court House.
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