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Group of mums help to raise more than £300 to replace chickens killed in school break-in

Castle Hill Primary was broken into Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Castle Hill Primary was broken into Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Archant

They have stood up to mindless vandals, who left their children heartbroken, in one of the most powerful ways imaginable - showing that their community cannot be beaten.

And now a group of mums are preparing to hand over hundreds of pounds they have helped to raise to replace a school’s beloved chickens which were killed in a senseless break-in.

Children at Castle Hill Primary, in Ipswich, came home from school upset that the chickens they helped to look after had died following the raid over the weekend of January 19 and 20.

CCTV captured three teenagers jumping over a fence and breaking into the Dryden Road school’s sheds, before they then released the chickens.

A couple of the chickens died, another sustained a back wound and two went missing.

The crime horrified the wider community, with mum Michelle Wilson - whose son Jacob attends the school - saying: “A group of mums and Jacob’s friends were quite upset. It was the first thing they told us when they came home from school.

“They all went home looking for the missing chickens.

“There was just shock that someone would do that - and that it was teenagers as well.”

So she and other mums decided to raise money to go towards buying some new chickens for the school.

She thought it would raise no more than £50 or so from a small group of parents - but was surprised it raised £340 at the last count.

“We just thought it would be nice for them to have a little bit of money to help with buying some new chickens,” she said.

She added that the public’s response had been “amazing”, adding: “I couldn’t believe the amount that people had donated.”

Of the teenage burglars, Ms Wilson added: “I just hope they realise it has affected the wider community and that it does have consequences when they do something like that.”

Simon Tuddenham, a resident of nearby Castle Court, has also supported the appeal by helping to organise collection buckets inside the shops in Garrick Way.

“When something like that happens, it is important the community comes together and does something about it,” he said.

On Monday, the Ipswich West Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) revealed that one teenager has been referred to a youth offending team after being arrested in connection with the burglary.

“Enquiries continue to identify others involved,” officers wrote on the SNT’s Twitter page.

Headteacher Gemma Andrews has said she 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.

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