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Two yobs, 11 and 12, went on rampage that killed more than 20 animals | UK | News

Two yobs, 11 and 12, went on rampage that killed more than 20 animals | UK | News
Two yobs, 11 and 12, went on rampage that killed more than 20 animals | UK | News

Two boys have been sentenced for animal cruelty after more than 20 animals were killed at a college. The youngsters, aged 11 and 12, had previously admitted causing £10,000 of criminal damage to property and unnecessary suffering to animals after rabbits, snakes and birds were killed in west London on February 24.

Both were ordered to pay £200 in compensation, for which their parents will be liable, during their sentencing at Uxbridge Magistrates’ Youth Court on Thursday (April 18).

Magistrate Lynn Green told the boys: “This is your crime, this is your punishment, not your parents. You must do something to pay them back… Whatever they ask you to do.”

In the 30-minute hearing, Ms Green gave both boys a community sentence and told them they had only avoided time in prison because of their age and the fact they were not persistent offenders.

She told them in her sentencing remarks: “It’s horrific what you’ve done, absolutely horrific.”

Ms Green, referring to CCTV of the boys’ crimes, said: “We didn’t want to see the video. We can’t face it.”

She added: “It is well you are not adults because you would have faced a significant time in custody.”

A break-in had been reported at Capel Manor College in Gunnersbury Park on February 25, during which staff said animals had been killed and enclosures damaged.

The boys stole animals from the environmental college, including ferrets, guinea pigs and three snakes, the court heard previously.

When police arrived they found three children playing with a snake in a changing room at Gunnersbury Park sports centre.

A barn owl named Shiraz had escaped, but was later recovered at a warehouse near Heathrow Airport. The bird is being cared for at the college’s Enfield campus.

As part of their referral order, both boys must attend regular meetings with their parents and youth offending teams for 12 months, the maximum term for this type of order.

During mitigation, Harriet Palfreman, defending the 12-year-old boy, said her client “understands the gravity of the offences committed” and he is “susceptible to impulsivity”.

Dafne Moran Toha, defence lawyer for the 11-year-old, said both boys “dispute voluntarily killing the animals”. She argued all they had wanted to do was “take the animals out of their cages and play with them”.

She told the court the pair felt “extremely remorseful for their actions”.

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