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Boy sent to Africa for 'therapy' arrested again

A TEENAGE offender who was sent on a pounds 7,000 character-building tour of Africa at taxpayers' expense was arrested again just three days after his return.

The 17-year-old arrived home in Gloucester on Christmas Eve but was arrested again on Monday night for an alleged drink-driving offence.

He is now free on bail pending sentence by a youth court for a range of earlier offences - which he has already admitted - including burglary, assault, taking cars without consent and affray.

The youth, who cannot be named, should have been sentenced for his crime spree before Christmas but could not be dealt with because he was still abroad. He is now due to appear before magistrates on 12 January.

The boy travelled more than 13,000 miles with a social worker during the African trip which was designed to help him see the error of his ways.

The trip, which took in the Nile, the Pyramids and Victoria Falls, was organised by the Bryn Melyn young offender 'therapy' school in North Wales, where weekly fees of pounds 1,800 were paid by Gloucestershire social services.

The youth's mother has hit back at publicity surrounding the African trip, saying he did not even want to go and he was petrified of flying.