Search

Six teenagers face court over £45,000 school arson

PUBLISHED: 12:36 16 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:36 16 July 2020

Flames could be seen over Northgate High School in Dereham following the arson attack in February. Picture: Kim Pearce

Flames could be seen over Northgate High School in Dereham following the arson attack in February. Picture: Kim Pearce

Kim Pearce

Six teenagers will face court over an arson attack at a Dereham school which led to more than £45,000 in damage.

Northgate High School in Dereham. Picture: Google StreetViewNorthgate High School in Dereham. Picture: Google StreetView

And parents of pupils at Northgate High School are angry they now have to pay for their children’s belongings that were stored in lockers at the school, which were destroyed in the blaze on February 15.

A spokesman from Northgate said they “understood and sympathised” with parents’ frustrations, but they could not reimburse them for the destroyed items because the school’s claim had been refused by its insurance provider.

The spokesman said: “This is a matter which is beyond the school’s control.

“We have written to all families affected at the first opportunity to explain further and we are grateful for the understanding of so many when children, families and staff have been affected by a malicious attack by third parties.”

There was an arson attack at Northgate High School in Dereham in February. Picture: Matthew Usher.There was an arson attack at Northgate High School in Dereham in February. Picture: Matthew Usher.

One parent, Diane Lavender, said she had to pay about £100 to replace her child’s trainers, PE kit, school bag and other items that were destroyed.

Mrs Lavender said: “I was absolutely disgusted having received the letter from school stating that their insurance company is unwilling to payout for the loss of the children’s property inside their lockers. I find the reason behind the insurance company’s decision, being that ‘because the perpetrators were not connected with the school they are therefore not negligent’ absolutely appalling.”

“My child together with many others have lost a huge amount financially and parents are now going to have to replace this property just because the school was inadequately insured.”

MORE: Police probe arson attack at school

Another parent said her son had lost a pair of trainers that cost him more than £100, and they could not afford to replace them.

She said: “He was absolutely devastated when we told him, as he sacrificed gifts at Christmas for money so he could buy these. Receiving the email from the school informing us that we would receive no compensation, especially in these already challenging times, was really quite unbelievable.”

A Norfolk police spokesman said: “Four male teenagers aged 17, one male teenager aged 16, and one male teenager aged 18 will appear at Norwich Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, September 29 in relation to the incident.”


If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press