A SCHOOLBOY who went off the rails after learning he would never see his siblings again has been shown mercy by magistrates.

The 16-year-old lost it after his brother and sister were adopted by another  family.

The youngster went out, got drunk with his friends, before stealing a sat nav from a car in Treelawn Gardens, Leigh.

Police were called to reports of two males wearing black clothing and trying to get into cars on January 18.

The teen was found in nearby Thistley Close with the sat nav.

He appeared before Southend Youth Court where he pleaded guilty to theft. Mr Ryland said the boy had committed offences in the past, but had started to straighten himself out after being taken into foster care.

The court heard that his relationship with his foster carer had developed, he now had a steady girlfriend, and was taking a college course.

A woman from the youth offending service said his “attitude has completely changed” in the last six months but he suffered a setback when his younger brother and sister were adopted.

His mother, who cried as she spoke, said: “A lot of what he has been through is down to me.“

She added: “He has been through so much and it was only December things were resolved with his brother and sister, since then he’s learned he’s never going to see them again.”

Martin Hampson, chairman of the bench, said: “We are prepared to give you one last chance.”

He was given a 12-month youth rehabilitation order which means he must attend appointments with the youth offending service.

He was also given 60 hours unpaid work and put on an electronic tag. The tag will monitor a three month curfew between 9pm and 7am. He must also pay £15 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.