A TEENAGER has been found guilty of burglary after smashing into a Braintree High Street shop with a claw hammer and stealing two watches with a pal.

The 17-year-old boy from Braintree, who cannot be identified, was convicted at Chelmsford Youth Court on Tuesday.

The offence took place at Cash in Hand, Braintree, on November 15 when a Rolex and Cartier watch worth £4,100 were stolen.

Richard Murrison, prosecuting, said: “On November 15, two males approached the front window. One of them smashed it with a hammer and they made off on a moped.

“Employee Levi Wright says he recognised one of the males when his face was covered because of distinctive eyes he had.

“He had come into the shop the day before while he was in the shop to sell an iPhone.”

Giving evidence Mr Wright said: “I recognised one of them. Male one was the one that struck the window and took one Rolex watch.

Male two grabbed a Cartier watch.

“My colleague chased after both males and attempted to trip male one up but managed to trip himself up.”

The teenager already has convictions for four counts of robbery, possession of an offensive weapon, failing to surrender, assault and handling stolen goods, the court heard.

Giving evidence, the youth said he gave a no comment interview after his arrest because he was trying to waste police time. He said: “I thought the police were wasting my time so I thought I would do the same to them. I was upset about being in cells for about 12 hours.”

He was ordered to serve a 12-month detention training order to run concurrently with a 24-month sentence for robbery, which he is already serving.

His parents will pay compensation costs of £2,100 and there will be a restraining order preventing him from going within 100 metres of Cash In Hand for two years.

An application by the Times to identify the offender was rejected.

Chairman of the bench Mrs Collins, sentencing, said: “Mr Wright recognised you. He was close to you, about two metres away. It was daylight, he saw you through an unobstructed glass pane.

“You could have told police and given an explanation, despite be- ing represented you decided not to.

You gave no explanation.”

A report on the youth said he did not accept responsibility for his actions, shows limited remorse and that he had previously used cannabis.

Speaking after the trial Mr Wright, 19, said: “It’s not enough, it was a relief when he was arrested as he wasn’t out and about but it’s no deterrent.

“It’s something we thought was going to happen again and again.

“The justice system is worrying, they just think we are a company and that this is not our personal property.”

The stolen watches have not been recovered.