Boys sentenced for school arson

THREE Exmouth schoolboys who admitted an arson attack on Brixington Primary School were told by magistrates yesterday - people could have been killed".

THREE Exmouth schoolboys who admitted an arson attack on Brixington Primary School were told by magistrates yesterday - "people could have been killed".Chief magistrate Gillian Adams, when sentencing the youths, said: "Do you realise how much worse it could have been? People could have been killed or hurt very badly."The teenagers, aged 14 (defendant A), 15 (defendant B), and 14 (defendant C) who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared before magistrates sitting at Exeter Youth Court.In a previous hearing, the boys admitted setting a design and technology storage shed alight at the school on December 12, last year.Defendant C also admitted setting fire to a portable toilet on a building site adjacent to Bassetts Farm School, in St Johns Road.Defendants A and B also admitted setting fire to, and destroying two wheelie bins at Brixington School, on December 11, as well as kicking down eight walls at the front of the properties opposite the school, on December 18. In total �25,000 worth of damage was caused.Speaking to the court yesterday, David Burgess, prosecuting, said the boys committed "very serious offences". Lesley Powell, acting for defendant B, said her client had in person apologised to one of the victims and is "extremely remorseful and regrets what happened".Rachel Bentley, acting for defendants A and C, said the whole incident was "out of character" and her clients understand the "repercussions of what they did".The three youths apologised to the court. Magistrates imposed a ten-month referral order - meaning they must attend a youth offender panel to address the causes of their offending behaviour - on each of the boys. This was reduced from 12 months because of their early guilty plea and the "remorse" they showed. No costs or damages were awarded.Ms Adams said: "This has been a dreadful and I'm sure a terrible experience for all of you."She urged the boys to work and "comply completely" with the referral panel and said she hoped they would never appear before the court again

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