Boy admits school wrecking spree

AN 11-year-old boy today admitted taking part in a wrecking spree which caused nearly £20,000 worth of damage at Stowmarket Middle School.The youngster's actions forced the school, on Walnut Tree Walk, to close for two days while a team of 45 teachers, staff and volunteers cleared up the damage in 12 of its 13 classrooms.

AN 11-year-old boy today admitted taking part in a wrecking spree which caused nearly £20,000 worth of damage at Stowmarket Middle School.

The youngster's actions forced the school, on Walnut Tree Walk, to close for two days while a team of 45 teachers, staff and volunteers cleared up the damage in 12 of its 13 classrooms.

The boy, who was dressed smartly in a summer shirt, accompanied by his mother admitted a charge of without lawful excuse he damaged items of school equipment at the school. The total amount of damage was put at £19,800.

Prosecutor Paul Forshaw at Bury St Edmunds youth court said headmaster Gordan Ewing entered the school on the evening of Saturday, June 7 and found damage in part of the premises called the Arbon building which was at the time subject to building work.


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Equipment was strewn all over the classrooms, several fire extinguishers were emptied, human excrement was strewn across some of the desks and on the floor, and some of the students' work was damaged or destroyed.

He said the school had to be shut for two days while a clear up operation was underway.

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The youngster had admitted his part in the destruction.

Malcolm Summer mitigating said the boy had never been in trouble before adding: "It's a heck of a start to a criminal career causing £19,000 worth of damage."

He said the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, wasn't looking to put the blame on anyone and wasn't pressurised by anyone but freely joined in.

He said there was a degree of lack of security in that part of the building. He added: "He got carried away in the spree of vandalism and realises how stupid and futile it was."

Roy May sentencing: "As you now realise it is not the sort of thing we expect from anybody like you. One of the things we appreciate is the fact that you were honest and that's something which is to be commended.

"At the earliest opportunity you stood up and said I did it. You now know it's wrong, obviously you will be punished for it."

The boy was given a six-month referral order supervised by the West Suffolk Youth Offending Service.

He was also ordered, via his parents, to pay £800 compensation.

Two other boys, one 10 and one aged 11, appeared before magistrates today but did not enter pleas. Their case was adjourned for two weeks until July 16.

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