Schoolboy arsonist sentenced

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A SCHOOLBOY who set a care home on fire has been sentenced for arson.

Pensioners had to be evacuated after the 12-year-old – who cannot be named – started a blaze in the porch of a home in Wescott Road, Peterlee.

The incident happened at 10.30pm, on November 28, last year. It caused £6,000-worth of damage, but no one was hurt.

Peterlee youth court was told the boy went into the porch to keep warm and was lighting threads in a couch because he was bored. He ran away in panic when the fire started.

The boy – who was accompanied by his mother in court – admitted arson. He also admitted a burglary at a community centre in South Hetton in September, during which a charity box containing £1.50 and keys were taken.

He was given an 18-month rehabilitation order with supervision and activity requirements, and ordered to pay £1,020.