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0 'Heavy-handed' police scrambled helicopter to hunt schoolboy whose football broke greenhouse window... and now he faces life-long 'criminal record'

But greenhouse owner says she is glad to see 'justice done'

A schoolboy faces a lifelong 'criminal record' after a police helicopter and riot van were scrambled to hunt him down - when he accidentally kicked a football at a greenhouse.
Tom Clarke, 15, was horrified when he miskicked the ball and it looped over a garden fence and smashed a greenhouse window pane.
Just 30 minutes later, a police helicopter was spotted hovering above the house using thermal imaging cameras to search for him.
Two patrol cars and a riot van were also dispatched to search nearby gardens in Chalgrove, Oxfordshire, on foot.
A pair of uniformed officers eventually tracked Tom down and he apologised to the greenhouse owner.
But days later, Thames Valley Police sent a letter to Tom's father telling him his youngster had 'accepted responsibility for criminal damage'.
Police said the incident was not a conviction but would be informally 'recorded for future reference' and could count against him by future employers carrying out extensive CRB checks.
Tom may now be considered unsuitable for jobs involving children and young people when he applies for work in the future.

The letter also warned Tom he could face an ASBO if his 'behaviour does not improve'.
However the owner of the greenhouse, Bobby Cellar, 67, said she was happy to see 'justice done'.
She said: 'I've had enough. Someone could have been in the greenhouse at the time and got hurt. 
'In my mind it's criminal damage and that's the law, I just wanted to see justice done.'
Yesterday, Tom's furious father, bus driver Darrin, 42, branded the police reaction 'extremely heavy-handed'.
He said: 'Tom is a good lad, he's never been in trouble with the police or at school and he works hard.
'Now he's been told his future work life is at risk because of a stupid accident playing football. It's extremely heavy-handed.
'The police helicopter was about 20ft above the ground and I saw a riot van circling the area along with two patrol cars.


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