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Teenager arrested in connection with primary school burglary which led to chicken deaths

Castle Hill Primary was broken into Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Castle Hill Primary was broken into Picture: RACHEL EDGE

Archant

A teenager has been referred to a youth offending team after being arrested in connection with a burglary at a primary school which led to the death of some of the pupils' chickens.

CCTV captured footage of teenagers 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 the community has rallied round in response to the break-in, with a collection bucket in the Co-op store in Garrick Way and an online fundraising page already raising hundreds of pounds to help replace the animals.

On Monday, January 28 Suffolk Constabulary’s Ipswich West safer neighbourhood team (SNT) Tweeted to say it had paid a “community visit” to the school, adding: “It was great to work with reception and year-one and two.

“A male teenager has been arrested in connection with the burglary last week and referred to the youth offending team.

“Enquiries continue to identify others involved.”

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.”

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

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

“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.”

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