Police hunting arsonists who torched memorial to Sunderland teenager

After being towed into Sunderland's South Dock, fisherman Paul Monck surveys the damage to his boat 'Kenya' following a suspected arson attack at its moorings near Panns Bank on the Wear.
After being towed into Sunderland's South Dock, fisherman Paul Monck surveys the damage to his boat 'Kenya' following a suspected arson attack at its moorings near Panns Bank on the Wear.
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ARSONISTS torched a boat named in tribute to a teenager, police have confirmed.

Kenya Monck, from Sunderland, collapsed at her family home in Hendon on February 3 last year.

The 16-year-old was rushed to Sunderland Royal Hospital after suffering an asthma attack and died six days later.

Grieving father Paul, 46, named his fishing coble after his only child.

But the four-metre vessel went up in flames, after it was targeted by vandals.

It is the second time the boat had been targeted by yobs this year, after it was deliberately sunk last month, leaving Paul with a £1,000 repair bill.

A spokesman for Northumbria Police said the fire, on the River Wear near Pann’s Bank in High Street East, was being treated as a deliberate.

Fisherman Paul, who discovered the damage on Sunday morning, said the attack had been a fresh blow to an already grieving family.

“The whole family is devastated. I’m just trying to get it up and running, but I’m not having much joy.

“The police never caught anyone when they sunk it,” he said.

Seventeen firefighters were called to the riverside at 9.15pm, with a water rescue team from Newcastle joining the crews from Fulwell and Farringdon stations.

The coble’s engine was destroyed by the flames, which also damaged its deck and it has been towed into Sunderland’s South Dock.

Northumbria Police asked anyone with information on the fire to call 101.

An inquest into Kenya’s death heard the former Southmoor School pupil, from Coxon Street, collapsed after returning home from a party.

Coroner Derek Winter recorded her death was due to natural causes through a brain injury caused by asthma.

Her death became part of a national study by the Royal College of Physicians.