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Schoolboy burglar is a let-down to Bermuda’s youth

A teenager who broke into a family's home and stole $2,500 worth of electronics was given a conditional discharge in Magistrates' Court yesterday.

Robert Brian Holdipp, 17, admitted last month he entered Lawrence Lamb's house and stole the items.

The CedarBridge Academy student also admitted taking Mr Lamb's car from his Southampton home without his consent.

Larry Mussenden, chairman of the school's board of governors, yesterday spoke on Holdipp's behalf.

“I would like to speak generally for CedarBridge students they are excellent,” he told the court.

However Senior Magistrate Archibald Warner said he was tired of seeing so many young boys before the courts.

“I do not single out CedarBridge....I hope in your capacity you can do something with CedarBridge and the community as a whole because this is becoming a trend,” he said to Mr Mussenden.

Mr Lamb told the court at a hearing last month that his 12-year-old daughter no longer felt safe in their home as a result of the burglary.

“She won't even go down the hall by herself,” he said.

“We now have a wonderful security system in our house because that was the only way I could ensure my wife and kids' safety and to give them some kind of comfort.”

Yesterday, Mr Warner told Holdipp: “You are a young man, not out of school yet. Your parents were here to support you and spoke on your behalf and by all measure they seem to be decent Christian people that have done their best for you and yet still you found yourself in this position.

“Notwithstanding your parents' efforts you found yourself in bad company and found yourself here today.

“You are not the principle, you just went along for the ride. I do not want to minimise your part however I must consider the criminal code that I should adopt when dealing with you.”

Mr Warner handed Holdipp a conditional discharge and placed him on two years' probation. He was ordered to refrain from using controlled drugs, to submit to random drug testing, take part in rehabilitative programmes, maintain full-time education and complete 150 hours of community service.

“You are a young man who is in school. If I accept that you are salvageable, then to record a criminal conviction would indeed seriously impact any rehabilitation that can be done.”

Mr Warner said he didn't want anyone to think Holdipp, of Harmony Close, Paget, was being let off with a slap on the wrist.

He said probation was a serious undertaking and if any of its conditions were breached the teen would find himself back before the courts.

Mr Warner added: ‘You are an embarrassment to your parents, an embarrassment to your school and to the youth of Bermuda.

“And I hope your presence here today has shamed you enough in order for you to recover and move forward.”

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Published December 03, 2010 at 1:00 am (Updated December 10, 2010 at 3:39 am)

Schoolboy burglar is a let-down to Bermuda’s youth

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