We will not be broken! Neighbours ‘sickened’ by school break-in rally round to replace killed chickens

Castle Hill Primary was broken into Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Castle Hill Primary was broken into Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Archant

Community-spirited residents horrified by a school break-in which resulted in the deaths of two of the pupils’ much-loved chickens are rallying round to organise a collection to replace the animals.

Three teenage suspects were caught on CCTV breaking into sheds on the premises of Castle Hill Primary School, in Dryden Road, Ipswich and releasing the schools’ chickens.

When a caretaker came to check on the birds the following morning, he found that two were missing, two were dead and three were alive - though one also has an injury on its back.

Their deaths have left the school’s community heartbroken, with headteacher Gemma Andrews describing what happened as very distressing in a letter to parents.

But determined not to let the vandals win, people living in nearby Castle Court, in Garrick Way, are rallying round to replace the beloved animals.

They will place a collection bucket in the Co-op store in Garrick Way and are encouraging members of the community to donate any spare change and cash that they can to the appeal.

Simon Tuddenham, a resident of Castle Court who is helping to organise the collection, said the appeal had been borne out of the horror people felt when they heard what had happened.

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He added: “It’s good for the children to have chickens to look after.

“When something like that happens, how do you explain to them that other children older than they are have done something like that?

“It just sickened me really.

“I think people are more disgusted than angry. A couple of people are quite up in arms about it but most people are just disgusted and think: ‘How can you do something like that?’

“I just can’t understand what’s going through someone’s mind when they do something like that.”

Ms Andrews wants those responsible to be given a sanction of restorative justice, where the culprits meet the victims of their crimes, in order to “help them understand how upset our school community is”.

She has had to explain to each class, in an age appropriate way, what happened.

However she said: “I have been really impressed with the students’ response.

“I’ve had notes from the students asking me not to be sad, telling me that some of them are sad, some of them say that they are going to love the chickens that we still have even more.”

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