North East Wales

Teen admits arson at Rhyl's Ledden's garage

A boy, aged 13, has admitted arson which caused £560,000 damage at a garage and taxi depot in Denbighshire.

The youth was made the subject of a referral order after the fire wrecked Ledden's garage in Ffordd Las, Rhyl.

Prestatyn youth court heard how the boy had been playing in an old van behind the premises and had set light to a canister containing petrol last May.

He tried to stamp it out, kicking the canister over, causing a "river of fire" which spread to the building.

After considering a pre-sentence report, district judge Andrew Shaw made the teenager the subject of a 12-month referral order and said that if he had been older he may have been sent to prison.

'Catastrophic'

The court heard how the fire spread to tree cuttings and a stack of tyres before reaching the building.

Six vehicles owned by second-hand car dealer Roger Harcourt were gutted in the blaze along with the garage.

The impact on taxi depot owner Terry Ledden was said to have been catastrophic because the insurance company invalidated his claim.

The boy's solicitor, Robert Vickery, described it as "a classic case of a young man who did not realise the consequences and dangers of playing with fire".

Mr Shaw asked for a report every six weeks on the boy's progress as part of the order.

He made no order for compensation or costs because of the boy's circumstances.

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