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Teenager arsonists responsible for £155k Suffolk barn fire must each pay £300 compensation

PUBLISHED: 15:44 02 May 2017 | UPDATED: 20:36 02 May 2017

The fire at Walton Stables

The fire at Walton Stables

Archant

Two boys and a girl have each been ordered to pay £300 compensation after a barn arson caused damage valued at £155,000.

The 15-year-olds were responsible for a fire at Walton Stables in High Road, Trimley St Mary, which began after a lighter and an aerosol were used as a makeshift blowtorch to set alight a PE top.

The blaze occurred on July 4 last year.

None of the trio can be identified due to their age.

They were sentenced at Ipswich Youth Court.

One of the boys had denied arson, but was found guilty after a trial last month.

He was sentenced to an 18-month youth rehabilitation order with a 40-hour unpaid activity requirement. The teenager was also ordered to pay £100 towards the prosecution costs and £20 to the victims’ fund.

The other boy and the girl had previously admitted the offence.

They were each given a 10-month youth rehabilitation order and told to pay £50 costs and £20 to the victims’ fund.

All three were told to pay £300 compensation due to their families’ means.

A fourth youth – a 14-year-old boy - was also accused of arson, but had the case against him dismissed during his trial alongside the 15-year-old who had denied the offence.

Police received a call from firefighters just before 6.10pm on July 4 asking for assistance as smoke was wafting over the road nearby.

When officers arrived the barn was said to be “well alight” and several people were watching the fire.

During the trial of the 14 and 15-year-old boys prosecutor Alan Wheetman told the court the second 15-year-old male had given an account of what happened.

Mr Wheetman said: “He will tell you how the fire spread after the aerosol canister of deodorant had been thrown on to the fire and he had attempted to kick it off, but that effectively caused the fire to burn brighter. Then the canister exploded which caused lots of smoke, which later turned into a fire which destroyed the barn.”

Bidwells - which looks after the property for the owner Trinity College Cambridge - said the total cost of the damage, if it was to be put back into its original condition, is valued at £155,000.

The barn was effectively completely destroyed and was only insured for demolition.

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