Friday, 15 December 2017

Vandals avoid prosecution by writing apology letters

TWO boys who vandalised Benson parish hall have been forced to apologise in writing rather than be prosecuted.

TWO boys who vandalised Benson parish hall have been forced to apologise in writing rather than be prosecuted.

One of the boys said he had “learnt his lesson” after he and his friend were caught on CCTV smashing the railing on the pavilion veranda on the evening of April 16, during the school holidays.

Staff at the parish hall reported the incident to the police who identified the 15- and 16-year-olds from the footage. Police decided to make the boys each write a letter of apology to the parish council to teach them a lesson rather than take them to court.

Pc Robert McIntyre, neighbourhood officer for Wallingford, said: “These aren’t bad lads, they were just being a bit daft. This way they get a slap on the wrist without getting a criminal record. They have apologised and shown some sort of pay back to the victim and they have not been in trouble since.”

One boy wrote: “I am writing this letter to apologise for my behaviour which resulted in the damage of Benson parish hall during the April school holidays.

“After being spoken to by the police and my parents, I now realise how I behaved on that day was wrong and feel I have learnt my lesson.

“I am willing to accept the consequences of my actions and to pay the compensation. I would also like to say that I will never be involved in any further incidents of this nature.” The other boy wrote: “I apologise for my silly behaviour by vandalising your pavillian (sic). I can assure you it will not happen again.”

Each boy paid £15 towards the cost of the repairs. Parish clerk Pete Eldridge said he wanted to charge the pair an amount they could afford rather than make their parents pay.

He added: “I think it is good that the police managed to find the culprits even though they weren’t local to the village.”

lIn October, four 16-year-old boys who stole alcohol from the On The Run shop at the Esso station in Reading Road, Henley, were made to to apologise in writing rather than be prosecuted.

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