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Boys, 14, ‘bludgeoned chickens to death’ on grounds of infant school

Castle Hill Infant and Junior Schools  Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Castle Hill Infant and Junior Schools Picture: RACHEL EDGE

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Two 14-year-old boys have been convicted of killing chickens belonging to an infant school.

The boys, who were 13 at the time and can not be named for legal reasons, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Wednesday.

Both were charged with burglary and criminal damage at Castle Hill Infant School on Saturday, January 19 last year.

One admitted causing criminal damage by destroying two chickens and eggs from an enclosure on the grounds.

The other denied the charge, claiming someone of a similar build, dressed in almost identical clothing, had been responsible.

Following an application from the defence, magistrates found there was no case to answer for burglary, which both boys denied, due to a lack of evidence that the enclosure constituted a building, or that it had been entered with intent to cause the damage.

Prosecutor Ian Devine showed the court CCTV footage of the boys, with a third male not subject to proceedings, outside a shop in the Castle Hill area at 1.11pm on the afternoon of the incident.

He then presented footage, taken a few minutes later, of three boys clambering over the school gates, scaling a single storey building and descending near an enclosure housing seven chickens.

"The chickens were allowed to escape," said Mr Devine.

"Two were killed, one injured and two fled - never to be found."

Mr Devine said two chickens were "bludgeoned to death" while running around outside.

He said a broom handle was found near their bodies, which were discovered by a caretaker the following Monday morning.

David Allan, representing the boy who admitted criminal damage, said he acknowledged the "heinous nature" of the offence, but contested entering a building as a trespasser with intent.

The other boy took the stand to claim he was with the others outside the shop, and again seen in their company on CCTV inside another shop just after 3pm - all having changed their clothing, which Mr Devine said must have been "blood-spattered".

The boy denied being present at the school, arguing he went to play football on the nearby field.

Shelley Drew, representing the boy, said magistrates had to be sure he was the individual seen on the school grounds.

The bench found the boy guilty and released both on unconditional bail to be sentenced at a later date.

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