Church attack: I did it, says youth

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A TEENAGE vandal has admitted smashing treasured Victorian stained glass windows at a 12th century church.

The 14-year-old boy whose identity is protected by law, yesterday admitted breaking two windows at the parish church of St Oswald’s, the oldest building in Filey, last December.

The attack caused nearly £10,000 of damage. Twelve windows at the 800-year-old the grade 1 listed building had to be completely replaced, although the boy said he was not responsible for all of the damage.

Scarborough Youth Court yesterday heard the youth smashed the windows with a hammer and chisel to steal cola and biscuits from inside the church.

Prosecuting, Kathryn Reeve told the court the 14-year-old had bragged to friends about committing the damage and had also admitted stealing the hammer and chisel from Cliff Top Garage to carry out the attack.

She said: “The owner of the garage discovered it had been opened and said that magnolia paint had been thrown across the car park. A large pot of white paint was missing along with a chisel.

“A church warden then saw what damage had been caused and found the chisel and cans of cola in the grounds.”

The Evening News initiated a reward to help find those responsible, with readers then taking the reward to £500.

Mitigating, Nick Tubbs said: “He has no previous convictions and a difficult time has been had by him and his family.

“There have been some problems and he is trying manfully to deal with them.

“He was extremely frank with police and is working in ways to try to stop these things happening in the future.”

The court heard the youth also plead guilty to a public order offence and another separate assault charge.

Magistrates handed the youth a seven- month referral order, which includes the drawing up of a contract alongside youth advisers to address behavioural issues surrounding the offence.

No-one was available at the church yesterday to make a comment.

He was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to the church to cover its insurance excess for the stained glass windows – and £2 for the cola and the biscuits.