Plymouth boy admits part in chapel fire

An 11-year-old boy from Devon has admitted involvement in a fire which caused damage put at £115,000.

The boy, who was 10 at the time, admitted criminal damage connected to a fire at the College of St Mark and St John, in Plymouth, last July.

Two boys aged 11 and 12, previously admitted criminal damage relating to the incident in the college's chapel.

The boy, appearing at Plymouth Youth Court, was given a four-month referral order for damaging a fire extinguisher.

Parents 'horrified'

A charge of arson, which the boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied, was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

The court heard the three children got into the unsecured building at the college in the evening and lit tissue paper, using a fire extinguisher to douse the flames.

While the youngest boy was in the toilet, the others started a fire they could not extinguish before fleeing, the court heard.

The boy, told the court he was "sorry for what I have done".

His father said: "We were horrified he was a part of this. He was with the wrong people at the wrong time but it doesn't excuse him.

"We have tried to bring him up to do the right thing and he did wrong. We are sorry for everyone involved."

In December, the boy's friends, now aged 12 and 13, were made the subject of a three-month curfew between 18:30 and 07:00 GMT by the same court.

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