Teenager given 10 months detention for racist graffiti


A Merseyside teenager has been sentenced to 10 months detention for daubing a school with racist graffiti just hours after one of its pupils was found dead.

The 17-year-old  boy from Bootle was sentenced at South Sefton Youth Court  today (9/12/2014) after pleading guilty to racially aggravated criminal damage at an earlier hearing. 18-year-old James Coleman from Netherton has also pleaded guilty to the charge. He will be sentenced next week.

The youth, who can't be  named because of his age, daubed racist graffiti at Maricourt Catholic High School in Maghull, the day after a black pupil from the school had been found dead at his home. The 15-year-old's death is not being treated as suspicious. Racist remarks were also discovered in Balls Wood Park which is near to the school.

The graffiti was reported to the police. CCTV at the school revealed Coleman and the youth at the scene and they were also  seen buying white paint and a paintbrush at a local supermarket earlier.

Police found several paint stained items of clothing at the 17-year-old's home address. He and Coleman were arrested shortly afterwards.

The youth has also been ordered to pay £250 compensation to the school to help with the cost of clearing up the graffiti.

Coleman will be sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court on 16 December 2014.

Jo Lazzari, District Crown Prosecutor for Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: "This teenager was  responsible for painting hugely offensive racist graffiti at a school that had just lost one of its pupils intragic circumstances.

"The callousness and cruelty of his actions are almost beyond belief. The suffering of the bereaved family can only be guessed at.

"I hope that they will take some comfort from the way this case has been dealt with by the criminal justice system.

"What this teenager did on that day was hate crime. This is serious and it will not be tolerated."