A 16-year-old boy who tried to organise riots using Facebook has been told he faces imprisonment.
Johnny Melfah, who boasted on the social networking site he would raid the Bullring and help himself to “free iPads”, can be named after Worcester Youth Court upheld a decision to lift reporting restrictions “to deter others”.
The teenager, from Thames Avenue, Droitwich, spoke only to confirm his name, address, date of birth and admit one charge of intentionally encouraging or assisting the commission of widespread thefts and criminal damage.
During the hearing it also emerged Melfah had a previous conviction for criminal damage in February 2010.
Sam Dixon, prosecuting, said police got an anonymous call on August 9 about Melfah posting comments on the “Letz Start a Riot” Facebook site.
Officers went to his home and saw his Facebook profile on which were “several comments”.
She added: “The community support officer who viewed the comments states the following were visible as all from the defendant Johnny.
“‘Anyone want to start some riots in Worcester and Droitwich? Anyone down for Brum tomorrow? Free iPads, wink.’
“‘Going to take a trip to Birmingham tomorrow woo-hoo.’
“‘I want to go to town to get inside the Bullring and Apple store.’”
Sam Lamsdale, defending, said Melfah played rugby for a local team and had just been offered an apprenticeship at a Droitwich company where he had worked full-time for the last year.
She argued against printing his identity saying it would bring “further stigmatisation to him and his family”.
Chairman of the bench, Linda Griffin, told Melfah he had committed a “very serious offence”.
She ordered a pre-sentence report with all options considered “including custody”.
Melfah was released on conditional bail and told to return to court on September 14.