Liverpool

Erick Maina death: Racist graffiti teenager detained

Erick Maina Image copyright Family pic
Image caption Erick Maina was a pupil at Maricourt Catholic High School, in Maghull

A 17-year-old boy who daubed racist graffiti at a Merseyside school hours after a black pupil died has been given a 10-month detention order.

Erick Maina, 15, who was originally from Kenya, was found hanged in Fazakerley, Liverpool, on 15 November.

Insulting comments about Erick and a swastika were found near Maricourt School in Maghull and in a nearby park.

The boy, who cannot be named, admitted racially aggravated criminal damage at South Sefton Youth Court last month.

James Coleman, 18, of Buckfast Close, Netherton, who also admitted the offence, will be sentenced on 16 December.

'Hugely offensive'

The court heard the boy attended the same school as Erick, who was described as a committed Christian and keen charity worker.

Image caption The 15-year-old was described as a committed Christian and keen charity worker
Image caption The graffiti was reported to police and CCTV led officers to the boy

He had been drinking in nearby Balls Wood Park before daubing the graffiti, which was reported to police.

CCTV at the school captured Coleman and the boy at the scene, and they were also seen buying white paint and a paint brush at a local supermarket.

Police found several paint-stained items of clothing at the teenager's home. He and Coleman were arrested shortly afterwards.

District judge Ian Lomax said binge drinking was "no excuse", and described the boy's behaviour as "reprehensible".

He said he must have known the impact the graffiti was going to have.

The boy has also been ordered to pay £250 compensation to the school to help with the cost of clearing up the graffiti.

After the sentencing, Jo Lazzari, of the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This teenager was responsible for painting hugely offensive racist graffiti at a school that had just lost one of its pupils in tragic circumstances.

"The callousness and cruelty of his actions are almost beyond belief. The suffering of the bereaved family can only be guessed at."

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