A CHILD who waved a meat cleaver around in front of a house while making threats has avoided jail and been told to make amends instead.

The 14-year-old from Basildon admitted possession of a bladed article at Basildon Youth Court yesterday after grabbing a cleaver from his home and marching off, before being stopped by his mother.

Last month the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, lost control after having his bike stolen from him on the way to school.

Stuart Cowen, prosecuting, said: “At school this crime had an effect on him and he was angry and frustrated.

“He had to be sent home by a teacher.

“When he got home, he took out the cleaver and went to the house where he thought the party responsible lived.

“He was picked up by CCTV footage.

“His mother eventually caught up to him and took him away.”

The boy was later arrested by police and subsequently charged.

The boy told the court on Tuesday he was overwhelmed by anger and was not thinking straight.

He said: “I didn’t know what I was thinking. I should have just calmed down and let my mum tell the police about it.”

Chairman of the bench Elizabeth Hunter gave the boy a six month referral order.

Addressing him, she said: “This could have been a very serious incident, luckily your mother caught up to you.

“A meat cleaver is not something that you should be carrying around.”

The owner of the house which the boy went to, who had nothing to do with the bike theft, told the Echo the boy and others like him need to be deterred.

He said: “There’s so many young boys walking around in gangs using knives.

“Something has to be done about it.

“They seem to be getting worse and worse.

“A meat cleaver is huge and he was waving it around.

“I don’t think the sentence is strong enough.

“People like him need to be deterred from ever using a knife in a way like that.”

A referral order involves a youth attending a specialist panel which, together with the family and the victim agree a plan to repair the harm and address the behaviour.