Young offenders in 'violent rampage'

FOUR teenagers caused more than �38,000 damage when they went on the rampage at a young offenders' detention centre at Hollesley, a court has heard.

Jane Hunt

FOUR teenagers caused more than �38,000 damage when they went on the rampage at a young offenders' detention centre at Hollesley, a court has heard.

The incident left a trail of destruction in the juvenile activity centre and led to a 12 hour stand off with prison staff, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

Several members of the teaching staff feared for their safety as the teenagers smashed windows, computers, furniture, a television and sprayed a fire hose, said Lindsay Cox, prosecuting.

Before the court were Mustapha Saliu and Ramzi Hamid, both 18, along with two 17-year-olds who cannot be named because of their age.

They all admitted an offence of affray on January 26 at the Warren Hill young offenders' institution at Hollesley.

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Hamid and Saliu were each sentenced to 12 months detention in a young offenders' institution. One of the 17-year-olds was sentenced to a two year detention and training order and the other was sentenced to an 18 month detention and training order.

Sentencing the youths Judge John Holt said the incident had been triggered by one of the 17-year-olds throwing a chair at a television set.

He described the youths as going “on the rampage” and said they had caused nearly �39,000 damage and put several members of the teaching staff in fear of violence.

Mr Cox told the court that at 10.15am on January 26 staff in the juvenile activity centre noticed that one of the 17-year-old defendants was unusually hyped up and disruptive.

He was told to leave the class and responded by picking up a chair and hurling it at a large television set and smashing some game stations.

The other 17-year-old then upended a table and wrenched off one of the legs, before using it to smash windows.

The other defendants became involved and at one stage they got onto a roof and threatened people below, said Mr Cox.

When asked what their grievance was, the 17-year-old who started the incident, said he wanted to be held at another young offenders' institute.

Saliu and Hamid ended their involvement during the afternoon while the other two defendants carried on until after 10pm, said Mr Cox.

Emma Nash representing one of the 17-year-olds said although significant damage had been caused and the incident had been frightening for staff, no direct violence had been used to staff.

“It was directed at property,” she said.

Anu Omideyi for the other 17-year-old said he accepted his behaviour had been “appalling and inexcusable”.

Sonal Dashani for Hamid said that most of the damage had been caused by the younger two defendants after he and Saliu had left.

Alphege Bell for Saliu said his client accepted he shouldn't have behaved in the way he did. He had now returned to education and was motivated to do well.