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Boy, 13, in arson attacks `a danger'.

A BABY-FACED fire-raiser aged just 13 was branded a danger to the public last night.

The boy - who admitted his third arson attack - was sentenced to be detained at a secure unit for two and a half years.

Judge Huw Daniel, sitting at Mold Crown Court said that he had a public duty to ensure that the boy - who can't be named for legal reasons - was put away for some time so that he could not indulge himself in his fire-raising activities.

But the boy, from Flint, was an intelligent lad whose education was improving while he was in custody and it was to be hoped that a structured programme that had been drawn up for him would help him.

``I hope that progress can be made with this young man. He has obvious ability. I hope the damage occasioned to him over the years is rectifiable. That remains to be seen,'' the judge said.

The court heard the boy appeared fascinated by fire and had once taken a videotape about fire and seemed excited about it.

The boy already had one arson conviction after he set fire to the Christian Hall in Flint and was on bail awaiting sentence for a second fire at a foster home in Crewe when he started a fire in the bathroom of a house where he was being fostered in the Wrexham area.

He had in the meantime been sentenced to an 18 month detention and training order and was the subject to an interim care order by Flintshire social services.

Prosecutor Peter Humphrey-Jones told how the boy started a fire in the bathroom of the house where he was staying because social workers would not let him see his mother.

Adolescent forensic psychiatrist Dr Kenneth Ross said that the boy had many issues, not only the fire-raising, which needed to be tackled.
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Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Oct 19, 2002
Words:310
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