Youths Sentenced For Destroying Model Railway Exhibition Worth £30,000
A gang of drunken teenagers who smashed up a model railway worth £30,000 have appeared in court in Lincoln.
Three of the youths were given referral orders and ordered to pay compensation, while the fourth is yet to be sentenced.
The four children aged 15 and 16 - who cannot be named for legal reasons - played football among the trains and destroyed the valuable model locomotives with hammers after drinking vodka.
The train sets had been set up in the sports hall of Stamford Welling Academy in Lincolnshire ahead of an annual exhibition by the Market Deeping Model Railway Club.
The youths were out drinking ahead of their GCSE exams.
All owned up to their crimes at Lincoln Youth Court yesterday and the parents of three of them were ordered to pay £500 in compensation, as well as receiving a 12-month referral order.
Sentencing was adjourned on the fourth youth until 2 September.
Of the expensive hand made displayed that were destroyed, one had taken 36 years to build.
Singer and model railway enthusiast Rod Stewart has donated £10,000 to a fund set up by well-wishers. So far, more than £107,000 has been raised for the club.
Stewart said: "The collection was priceless. It took me 23 years to build my model railway so I feel their pain."
John Lock, the chairman of the bench, said: "In nearly 20 years on the bench, I cannot recall such a case as this, of mindless, wanton destruction. It beggars belief.
"You came across the displays and models... and not content with kicking a ball, you then went on a rampage."
The chairman of the Market Deeping Model Railway Club, Peter Davies, said that he was pleased with the judicial process, but added that it was 'right they [the youths] make the best use of their future'.
He continued: "We have to allow them to make a second start, although I don't condone the damage, it was horrific."
Davies also said that the 'enormous' sum of money that has been raised via the JustGiving page would go to a charitable trust, one of the aims of which will be to set up youth projects.
He said: "By October we could see 60 young people involved in modelling projects they would never have done before."
The four boys admitted to their crimes during interviews with the police, according to Prosecutor Shelley Wilson.
One of the boys' defence solicitors added that the boys were "in drink" and that had "impaired their judgement".
The court was also told that they had apologised for their actions and that their parents were "ashamed" and "disappointed".
Featured Image Credit: Market Deeping Model Railway Club
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