School boys sentenced after crime spree at Chedgrave boat yard

Two school friends from a sleepy Norfolk village went on a crime spree at a boat yard, causing more than �7,000 of damage.

The Loddon pair, aged 12 and 13, broke into three boats and a caravan, smashing windows, slashing bedding with knives and setting off fire extinguishers as they went.

Just three months earlier the elder boy had burnt down a barn when he set fire to a hay bale to see if his friend could put it out - �5,000 of damage was caused.

Neither boy can be identified as they are younger than 18, but they were sentenced at Great Yarmouth Youth Court yesterday.

Conrad Shaw, prosecuting, said: 'This was a spate of damage to boats.'

He told the court details of the crime spree at Greenway Marine in Chedgrave on June 20 and 21 last year.

A third boy, who was not at the court hearing, joined the two defendants on their rampage and was alleged to have caused most of the damage.

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The door of the first boat was kicked in, but others were already unlocked.

The boys damaged seating on the boats, along with instrument dials and the roof mast of a motor cruiser.

A radio from one boat was smashed with a hammer and a fire extinguisher sprayed over it, and the boys cracked the roof light of a nearby caravan. Tools, speakers and binoculars were also stolen from a boat.

In a separate incident on March 30 the 13-year-old burnt down a barn along with its contents at Lodge Farm.

Chris Bentley, defending, said neither boy had offended before, that they had apologised and had difficult home lives. He added: 'They're in Loddon and there's not a lot to do.'

Both boys pleaded guilty to the boat spree, and the 13-year-old pleaded guilty to the arson.

Chairman of the bench Jill Halliday handed the 12-year-old an eight month referral order.

The 13-year-old was handed a 10 month referral order and his parents ordered to pay �1,000 compensation for the arson incident.

No compensation was ordered for the �7,000 boat spree.

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