Six teenagers sentenced for high value criminal damage to listed building in Shanklin
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Six teenagers have been sentenced for causing hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of damage to a Grade II listed house in Shanklin.
Between 5 May and 5 June 2022, the teenagers gained access to the house and proceeded to smash up furniture and windows, as well as causing significant damage to the structure of the house’s interior including windows and doors, and damage to fittings, fixtures, home decorations and personal possessions.
As a result, the market value of the house depreciated by an estimated £250,000-300,000.
Following an investigation by the South Wight Neighbourhoods Policing Team, the following teenagers, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Isle of Wight Youth Court on Wednesday 25 October and admitted one count each of criminal damage:
A 14-year-old girl from Shanklin
Two 13-year-old boys from Shanklin
A 15-year-old boy from Newport
A 14-year-old girl from Godshill
A 16-year-old boy from Hythe, New Forest
A 14-year-old boy from Shanklin
One of the 13-year-old boys from Shanklin will be sentenced at a later date on 8 November.
The remaining six were all handed 12 month referral orders, which is a court order and will require them to work with the Youth Offending Team to engage following a program of intensive intervention, focusing on rehabilitation, diversion and restorative justice. Full conditions of the order will follow a panel meeting in due course.
They were also all ordered to pay £1,500 compensation each.
PC James Carey, who led the investigation, said: “The children involved in this case caused an overwhelming amount of damage to this property, which naturally has caused unimaginable stress to the homeowners. The Magistrate overseeing the sentencing remarked that he had never seen a criminal damage incident of such scale in 20 years on the Isle of Wight.
“When it comes to dealing with young offenders, in the majority of cases the most suitable option is to work closely with Youth Offending Teams and local diversionary services to divert youngsters away from crime, and set them on the right path so they can make a positive contribution to society.
“We don’t want to unnecessarily criminalise children, so will always seek the most proportionate route to dealing with young people whose behaviour has crossed the line into criminality. As a neighbourhood team our work to tackle youth-related anti-social behaviour in the Bay area under Operation Spider has had a huge impact on reducing young offending, and we are now seeing lots of young individuals positively engaging with local diversionary services.
“However, there are a small minority whose offending causes such an impact that the most appropriate option open to us is prosecution.
“The sheer level of destruction caused to this house, and the impact this has had on the victims, speaks for itself and it is only right that this is reflected through charges brought to court.
“As a result of their actions, these young offenders now have criminal records and will be required to report to the Youth Offending Team on a regular basis to ensure there is no repeat offending.
“Getting a criminal record at such a young age can have a detrimental impact on a person’s future. Let this be a lesson to other young people that actions have very real consequences to not only victims but to you as the offender.”