A TEENAGER who threatened a shop cashier with a knife during an attempted robbery has avoided being sent to youth detention.

The 16-year- boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, burst into The Willows Convenience Store in The Willows, Colchester, at lunchtime on November 11.

He then hold the knife up to the worker and demanded cash before an unsuspecting potential customer walked through the door.

Their entry was enough to scare off the youngster, who fled empty handed.

Throughout the time he was in the shop, the boy kept his face hidden but was caught on CCTV.

Shops bosses called police and they arrested the boy on the same day.

He was later charged with attempted robbery and possession of a blade - a large kitchen knife.

The boy, who is from the Colchester area, admitted both the charges during a youth court hearing held at Chelmsford Magistrates' Court.

He was referred to a youth offender panel, who will agree a contact of behaviour which the 16-year-old will have to adhere to for the next 12 months.

The youngster has also been ordered to pay £200 compensation.

He will pay no victim surcharge because the court decided the compensation money should take priority and the defendant is of limited means.