A forgiving landlord has decided not to report tearaway teens to the police - despite them ransacking his pub. 

Jason Watling-McCarthy was left £1,000 out of pocket when a young group of thieves broke into The Painted Wagon on Marland Road and stole vodka, sweets and smashed up some cake stands.

But the 56-year-old, who has run the pub for 10 years, has turned the other cheek.

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He said: “I was angry at first – but these kids are not career criminals.

“They are just kids who saw an opportunity. That is why we have taken the decision not to report the incident to the police – we all did silly things when we were young."

CCTV cameras captured the whole incident, which happened in the early hours of Sunday, March 3.

The three youngsters broke the lock on the kitchen window and forced their way inside.

The thieves took around 10 bottles of vodka and also a large number of sweets while also breaking the window lock and smashing cake stands upon entry.

At around 4.30am, an off-duty security worker, who knew the owner of the pub, spotted the group of young men stood outside with the door wide open.

He told the young lads to drop the large bags they had filled and clear off – which they did, with two other teens running from the front door.

Jason told of the moment he received the call about the break-in.

He said: “You always dread a call at that time in the morning - thinking someone is going to tell you the pub has burnt down or there has been a fatality.

“I was lucky my friend who works in security spotted the group and called me as soon as he had dealt with the situation.”

The window and loss of stock has cost Jason more than £1000 - and the pub owner said he hoped it would be the last he would hear about the incident.

He said: "I have chosen to speak out and take to social media with the hope that the parents of these lads might see this and think about what their kids are doing when they aren’t at home.

“What these kids were doing out at 4am is beggars’ belief. It's lucky they didn’t hurt themselves.”