Teen graffiti taggers hit with £1,200 bill
THREE youths aged 13, 14 and 15 who caused £3,000 of damage when they went on a graffiti rampage in Eynesbury have landed their families with a £1,200 bill for compensation. The three teenagers, who cannot be named because of their ages, sprayed 11 cars
THREE youths aged 13, 14 and 15 who caused £3,000 of damage when they went on a graffiti "rampage" in Eynesbury have landed their families with a £1,200 bill for compensation.
The three teenagers, who cannot be named because of their ages, sprayed 11 cars and two homes in one night, but also asked for other similar offences to be taken into consideration.
In court they admitted criminal damage at 22 locations. Red, brown and yellow paint had been sprayed with squiggles and the letters SNP, believed to stand for St Neots Posse.
The oldest, who the court heard was addicted to sniffing petrol, had 14 offences, the 14-year-old had seven and the 13-year-old had three.
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Huntingdon Youth Court heard on Tuesday that the teenagers had found the paint cans in a black plastic bag, picked them up and gone on a spraying spree overnight on Saturday, March 1.
The court was told that the eldest boy had at first denied being involved and named three others.
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However, after their alibis were confirmed and his fell apart, he admitted the offences and named the other two boys involved. The other two boys admitted their guilt straight away.
The court also heard that the oldest boy had for a long time been addicted to sniffing petrol, but was trying to control the habit and before his court appearance had abstained for seven days.
The court heard that the boy felt the petrol had the effect of "disinhibiting" him.
Speaking for the 15-year-old, solicitor Peter Vialls said: "He recognises how foolish and damaging his behaviour has been and deeply regrets it.
"He is trying to change and break his previous pattern of behaviour."
Mr Vialls said the boy was so keen to attend his learning support unit that he had refused to go to the dentist and put up with toothache rather than miss school.
The boy was put on a supervision order, ordered to do 20 hours reparation.
His family was told to pay £693.70 in compensation. He was also made the subject of a parent order which means that his mother will receive advice on parenting for the next year.
The court heard that the 14-year-old was living with his mother in Hertfordshire and visiting his father in St Neots, but that his father's care was "very lax".
The youth panel was told that the 13-year-old attended school and lived with his family. His parents' marriage had broken down but they could not afford to pay for separate homes.
Neither of the younger two boys had previous convictions.
They were each given referral orders for three months and told they and their mothers would have to attend meetings of a youth offender panel. The family of the 14-year-old was ordered to pay £383.20 in compensation and the 13-year-old £148.
The three were told to pay £60 each in court costs.
Chairman of the youth panel, Terry Bolongaro, told the three: "You went on a rampage doing all sorts of damage to articles that had been a heavy investment to the people who owned them."
* OUTSIDE the court on Tuesday a mother from St Neots, unconnected to the case but whose son was in court on another matter, told The Hunts Post that the problem was that there was nothing to do for youths in St Neots.
Is this an excuse for the young or a genuine argument? And what does St Neots need? Send your views to firstname.lastname@example.org or write to 30 High Street, Huntingdon PE29 3TB.