UP TO £10,000 cash stolen in a break-in at a pub has never been recovered.
The money was taken from a safe at the Jolly Sailor pub in Clarence Parade, Southsea, along with a laptop, handbag and digital camera.
And a 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who pleaded guilty to taking part in the burglary on August 3, claims he does not know what happened to it.
Appearing at Fareham Youth Court, the teenager also pleaded guilty to burglary with intent to steal at Portsmouth High School in Southsea on July 30.
The court heard how the youth and one other person, who has not been arrested, broke in by smashing an upstairs window at the pub, using an external staircase.
Prosecutor David Olley said: ‘It is accepted that he alone was not responsible for taking the money, but he does accept that it was a joint enterprise.’
The youth was spotted acting suspiciously by an off-duty police officer in nearby Auckland Road at about 10.30pm.
Mr Olley said: ‘He found it particularly strange, called his police colleagues and observed him going into a garden.’
The youth emerged from the garden moments later in a different coloured top. When he was picked up a few minutes later by police, the stolen laptop and camera were found wrapped in a sweater in the garden.
Mr Olley said the amount of stolen cash was estimated to be between £7,500 and £10,000.
Chairman of the bench Paul Thompson said: ‘We note nothing was stolen from the school, but we also note that a substantial amount of cash was taken from the Jolly Sailor which we don’t accept was an opportunistic burglary – it was a pre-planned burglary to possibly repay drug debts.’
The court head how the youth, from Southsea, had previously been charged with a number of offences, including a home burglary, battery, thefts, and criminal damage.
Mr Thompson warned the thief that if he came back before the court he would face jail and added: ‘If anyone was in the last chance saloon, you are there.’
The youth had been in custody since being arrested for the pub burglary. He was sentenced to a 12-month youth rehabilitation order with a 91-day curfew and a 91-day extended activity requirement.
The News challenged reporting restrictions, but the bench decided to leave them in place, meaning he cannot be named.