Schoolboys charged over £100,000 of vandalism

SIX schoolboys, some as young as 12, have been charged with vandalism after a historic country house in Aberdeenshire sustained an estimated £100,000 in damage in a wrecking spree earlier this month.

The 150-year-old Gavenwood Manor at Montcoffer on the outskirts of Macduff was extensively damaged while the B-listed building was being renovated by its owner, Aberdeen businesswoman Fiona Eite.

The vandals smashed all 38 windows in the two-storey house, broke light switches, battered holes in plasterboard and spray-painted graffiti on walls. A set of golf clubs, used to wreck the walls, was found inside the building, which was unoccupied at the time of the attack.

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A spokeswoman for Grampian Police said that six youths, aged between 12 and 14, had been charged in connection with the vandalism at Gavenwood Manor and a report would be submitted in due to course to either the procurator-fiscal or the Children’s Reporter.

North-east MSP Richard Baker said providing more activities for young people had shown a proven reduction in vandalism and crime. But he said boredom was “not an excuse”.

He said: “I think it’s absolutely critical that Grampian Police do all they can to identify those responsible and that the appropriate measures are taken.

“We have got to get out of the idea that this is simply a bit of misbehaviour. These are serious incidents and should be treated as so.”