Boys guilty of school wrecking spree
THREE boys who went on a £20,000 wrecking spree at Stowmarket Middle School thought it would be "cool and fun", a court heard today.One of the culprits, who was only 11, has already been dealt with for the incident but today two others, aged 10 and 11 also pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage without lawful excuse.
THREE boys who went on a £20,000 wrecking spree at Stowmarket Middle School thought it would be "cool and fun", a court heard today.
One of the culprits, who was only 11, has already been dealt with for the incident but today two others, aged 10 and 11 also pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage without lawful excuse.
St Edmundsbury Magistrates Court heard the boys had smashed a window to gain entry to the school, in Walnut Tree Walk on Saturday, June 7.
The school was forced to close for two days while a team of 45 teachers, staff and volunteers cleared up the damage to 12 of the 13 classrooms.
Equipment was strewn all over the classrooms, several fire extinguishers were emptied, human excrement smeared over some of the desks and on the floor and some of the students' work damaged or destroyed.
Asked to explain his actions by Chairman of the Bench Graham Higgins, the 11-year-old youngster said: "We thought it would be cool and fun. We didn't intend to cause that much damage. It was fun but then it got out of hand.
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"We were playing about on the building works where the new music room is being built and then we decided to go into the school. That's when we started breaking in."
Mr Higgins then asked the 11-year-old how much money he thought he had cost his dad in compensation. When the boy said "a lot", Mr Higgins replied "think how many Christmases that money would pay for".
Mitigating for the 11-year-old, Claire Lockwood said her client took responsibility for his role in a "joint enterprise".
She added he was no longer receiving any pocket money and would have to find a way of paying back his dad.
At the time of the incident the youngster lived in Stowmarket with his mother, but he has now moved to the Midlands to be with his father.
Mitigating for the 10-year-old, David Stewart said his client accepted his role in the incident and admitted the offence in police interview.
Chairman of the bench Graham Higgins ordered both boys to carry out a six-month referral order, supervised by the youth offending panel and also ordered the parents to pay £800 compensation each.
Previously a third boy, aged 11, received the same punishment for his role in the affair.
No order was made for costs and the compensation will be paid off in monthly instalments.