Life sentence for schoolboy arsonist

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A schoolboy arsonist who started more than 140 fires was ordered to be detained for life yesterday after doctors at a top-security hospital refused to admit him.

Darren Marklew, 16, of Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, was told by Judge John Hopkin at Nottingham Crown Court: "I regard you as an extremely dangerous individual." He said he had hoped to send the boy to Rampton for an indefinite period under the Mental Health Act. But Rampton officials wrote to the court saying: "We take the view that he is too young and immature to be admitted to a hospital of this type."

The judge said: "The only way to protect the public is to pass on you a sentence of detention for life. I recommend eight years." He said he hoped the Home Secretary could move Marklew to somewhere with suitable treatment for his disorder.