York & North Yorkshire

Teenager shot girl in face with BB gun

A teenager who held a BB gun to a child's head and shot her in the face with a pellet has been served with a six-month rehabilitation order.

The 16-year-old boy scared the nine-year-old in a wood in November 2011 so he could take money and a bike, Teesside Crown Court heard.

The teenager admitted possession of an imitation firearm and common assault.

He has already served five months in a secure training centre. A three-month curfew was also served on him.

Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, said the defendant went into the woods near Richmond in North Yorkshire with the girl and suddenly "threw her to the ground, pinned her down by straddling her before producing a BB gun".

She said: "He put it against her head and told her not to scream or he would shoot.

"She asked why he was doing this to her."

The defendant told her he wanted her bike and money to give them to a friend.

Miss Lamballe said: "He got to his feet, still pointing his BB gun at her. She then described scrambling to her feet and grabbing her bag.

"As she does, the defendant fires a pellet at her and that strikes her face, causing pain and leaving a red mark."

She shouted for help and was found by a dog walker.

Judge Peter Armstrong said the offence deserved a sentence of 12 months detention, but the defendant has already served five months in Hassockfield Secure Training Centre, County Durham.

"You have made good progress while on remand and I see no reason why that should not continue in the community," said the judge.

Rod Hunt, defending, said: "The lines between pranks and crimes are often blurred when the courts come to deal with young people.

"It is quite clear by the fear engendered in this young girl, the line was crossed."

The teenager already has eight convictions.