A solicitor who saw a youth giving a good kick to a wing mirror on his car chased and caught him before calling the police, Truro Youth Court heard.

Chairman of the magistrates, Marc Redgrave, warned the 15-year-old that, with a record of previous convictions including burglary and shoplifting, if he came back to court again he would go to prison.

The youth, who is from Falmouth but cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to damaging a wing mirror on an Audi car belonging to solicitor Jeremy Leaning, causing damage of £274.

Graham Calderwood for the CPS said Mr Leaning had been looking out of the window at his home in Truro at 6.30pm on August 11 and saw a group of rowdy youths outside. One of them, the defendant, was seen to stumble and fall against his car, parked outside, and then spit at it before kicking it with full force, damaging the wing mirror on the nearside.

The youth later told the police he had drunk a litre of vodka in an hour, beforehand, and did not remember anything about the incident, although he felt bad about what he was said to have done.

Neil Lewin, his solicitor, said he had been extremely drunk at the time and had been constantly sick while in custody. Since then his attitude to offending had changed.

He was given a 12 month referral order and told that compensation of £274 would have to be paid.