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Boy held in cells for school desk threats

By Jo Deeks on Thursday, 21st June 2001.

A TEENAGER was arrested and held in police custody for five hours after writing on a school desk.

The 15-year-old was first questioned by police when he threatened to smash windows at another pupil's home, a court was told yesterday.

Two days later the Haverhill youngster who cannot be named for legal reasons was seen writing similar threats on his desk during a maths lesson, said Paul Forshaw, prosecuting.

Nick Wray, in mitigation, told St Edmundsbury Youth Court there had been "teenage intrigue" circulating round the school about a possible fight between the two boys.

His client had spent five hours in custody after being arrested and had since been treated by his doctor for shock. He now realised he could not continue to behave in this way.

The youth yesterday admitted a charge of making threats to cause criminal damage to the home of another pupil and was given a conditional discharge for one year, with an order to pay 10 towards prosecution costs.

A charge of causing criminal damage was withdrawn.

After the hearing, the boy's father said he was now considering taking legal action against the school.

He said he felt the school had over-reacted by calling the police in.

"I think it is unbelievable, it was a school matter and should have been dealt with in school. One teacher told him to clean the desk, then another said the police had to be called.

"I know he did wrong but almost everyone has written on a desk at one time or another,} the father said.

The headteacher of the school defended the decision and said he regarded it as an out of school matter because the boy was in breach of bail conditions at the time by writing messages to the other pupil.

He added the police were not called just because the boy had written on the desk but because he had written threats to the other pupil.

Town councillor Mabon Dane said he would be writing to the school governors to complain about the way the matter had been handled.

"I was gobsmacked, I think they went completely over the top," Coun Dane said.

Haverhill Weekly News

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