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Arsonist torched Barking children's home

PUBLISHED: 14:40 04 December 2009 | UPDATED: 10:54 11 August 2010

A TEENAGE arsonist who endangered the lives of other youngsters when he torched laundry at a children s home has been locked up for 18 months. The 16-year-old already has an appalling criminal record for robbery, criminal damage and lighting newspapers on

A TEENAGE arsonist who endangered the lives of other youngsters when he torched laundry at a children's home has been locked up for 18 months.

The 16-year-old already has an appalling criminal record for robbery, criminal damage and lighting newspapers on the upper deck of a bus.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard how an alert member of staff at the home in Barking quickly doused the flames with a fire extinguisher after the arsonist set a linen basket ablaze.

Prosecutor Peter Gray said there appeared to be no motive for the attack on April 1.

"The defendant says that he didn't know that there was a young man next door, fast asleep."

Describing the boy's criminal record, including the earlier arson attack, Mr Gray said: "He set fire to a newspaper on the upper level of a bus, causing relatively minor damage. But the bus obviously had to be evacuated.

"There is also a matter of robbery. There are a number of matters of criminal damage in his past."

Judge Georges Khayat described the tearaway as a "solitary person" but praised him for making "good progress" while in custody.

The boy had admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Prosecutors dropped a charge of arson with intent to endanger human life.


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