Sunderland teen who vandalised school in drug-fuelled attack told to find a job to pay for damage

The teenager caused thousands of pounds of damage at Sandhill View School.
The teenager caused thousands of pounds of damage at Sandhill View School.
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A teenager who caused thousands of pounds of damage to a city school in a drug-fuelled vandalism attack has been told by a judge to get a job to help his parents pay compensation,

The 17-year-old admitted aggravated burglary when he appeared before Sunderland juvenile court.

“There is no explanation of it, other than that this was the first time he had taken Diazepam and it had quite an extreme effect on him.

Paul McAlindon

Michael Rose, prosecuting, told the court the youth and another teenager had entered Sandhill View school on August 3.

“It was found the school had been broken into and paint and glue had been spread around the rooms,” he said.

“It is estimated the damage would cost five to six thousand pounds to repair.”

The youth also admitted burglary of a shed, theft from a car, possession of cannabis and Diazepam and attempted possession of MDMA.

Paul McAlindon, for the boy, said he had no previous record. He said: “It is quite concerning – he gets to 17, he has finished school, he has never been in trouble with the police before.”

“In at the deep end, I think you might describe it as.

“This was the first time he had taken Diazepam – he accepts that in the past he had casually smoked cannabis.

“He accepts fully they went to the school, when they went in, not really knowing what they were doing, they found the paint and they have caused the damage.

“There is no explanation of it, other than that this was the first time he had taken Diazepam and it had quite an extreme effect on him.

“He is very upset with himself for this. It certainly seems to be something that is out of character.

“Not to blame anyone or anything, but I think if he was not with a peer group and had not taken Diazepam, this would not have happened.”

The boy’s family would have to bear the brunt of any compensation.

“His parents were very shocked by this,” said Mr McAlindon.

“I have discussed this matter with his mother and she was quite shocked to learn that, financially, it is going to be her and her husband that are hit by this.”

Sentencing the boy to an eight-month referral order and ordering the payment of £1,000 compensation, District Judge Roger Elsey told him: “That is going to be a punishment for the whole family and you have brought that upon them.

“If they mean anything to you, this must be the last time you come to court to answer for such offences.

“If you want that, you have to stop using drugs.

“And you must get some form of income to help your mother and father pay for that compensation.”