Essex teenager Bradley Wernham is celebrating today after beating twelve other finalist hoodlums to become Young Criminal of the year for 2009/10. The prolific young burglar racked up an impressive 600-plus known offences during a gruelling competition on his home turf between Harlow and Chelmsford, earning plaudits from throughout the criminal fraternity.
Wernham was given a standing ovation as he walked up to collect his prize during a glittering award ceremony, held after hours at the Mayfair Club, Dagenham and presided over by noted 'legitimate businessman' Carl 'Toenails' Thomas. 'Young Wernham here has done a smashing job,' Thomas declared, 'it's heartening to see such a local boy made good - if you'll pardon the expression.'
Judges were not only impressed by the relentless campaign of terror that Wernham inflicted upon local homeowners, his continual disregard for curfews and restriction orders and his sheer and blatant disrespect for the forces of law and order, but were also swayed by the level of righteous indignation that his actions generated within decent law abiding citizens.
'This young fella, a career criminal since the age of 11, not only convinced Judge Christopher Ball that he was a victim who wanted to change his ways,' Thomas explained, 'but also managed to get a rent-free flat into the bargain! The honourable beak might as well have rolled over and asked Bradley to tickle his tummy! Our boy Bradley has given a whole new meaning to the phrase 'balls up'.'
Wernham, declared by his peers as a paragon of ill-virtue, was also voted as the reconstructed face to watch. 'You're a lad who is definitely going places,' Thomas told the proud winner, 'Borstal, Broadmoor, Wormwood Scrubs - incidentally I'd like to thank the governor of that latter establishment for granting me day release to be here today and I promise to send him a postcard when I get to Marbella - and it gives me great pleasure to award you this magnificent 24-carat wristwa- er, hang on... I'm sure I had it on me a minute ago...'