A TEENAGER given detention for spitting at a police officer must complete the order after abandoning an appeal against the sentence.

The 16-year-old was convicted of an offence of common assault on the female officer by the youth court on April 9.

It related to an incident in Willington, on October 16.

The youth court bench imposed the minimum term detention and training order of four months, but little more than a week into that sentence the youth, who appeared via video link from HMP Wetherby, was listed for a scheduled appeal against the sentence, to be heard at Durham Crown Court.

At the outset Judge Ray Singh, sitting with a magistrate, asked the appellant’s lawyer, Denise Jackman: “Has the defendant been advised that this being the minimum detention and training order imposed, we, sitting on this by way of appeal, have the power to increase the sentence, as well as reduce it?

“We have some fairly serious concerns. He needs to be told.”

Following a short consultation, Ms Jackman told the court: “We are not proceeding with the appeal. We are abandoning it.”

The youth must, therefore, remain in custody and complete the detention period of the order, but he was not asked to pay any costs for the brief appeal hearing.