Public school party leaves £2m Hampstead home ‘trashed’

Pupils
from some of North London’s most prestigious schools clash with police after an
end-of-term ‘sleepover’ spirals out of control

An end-of-term party for public school students went badly awry when gate-crashing, drug-taking and violence left a £2 million home trashed and three teenagers arrested in the street.

Students from some of North London’s most expensive and prestigious schools rented a house in Frognal, Hampstead for one night at a cost of £750. They paid up front in cash, and said they wanted to host a small gathering for up to 30 people.

The owner of the house said she returned the following day to find her house ruined, as well as a large number of canisters of the “laughing gas” drug and a small plastic bag filled with white powder.

Neighbours spoke of how the scenes resembled the 2011 London riots, as police tried to shut down the party last month at around 1.30am. The school pupils hurled verbal abuse at officers and three were bundled into vans on suspicion of public order offences.

The owner, who did not want to be named, said she was forced to call in builders to repair the damage, which she estimated to have cost as much as £15,000.

She said: “I am disgusted at what has happened. These rich kids destroyed bathrooms, sofas, a Jacuzzi. My beautiful home was destroyed.

"I really didn't expect any of this, they said it would just be a small sleepover.

"They were putting paint and petrol everywhere. They smashed an expensive granite sink, ripped up mahogany floorboards and they were flinging my crystal decanters around the place.”

Chris Fallows, 49, a writer who lives in the area, said: “There were about 40 or 50 kids, all well-dressed, and they were yelling right in the cops’ faces.

 “A lot of the kids had their cell phones out and were thrusting them in the faces of the policemen, almost daring them to do something. It was as though they thought they were taking part in some kind of Arab Spring.”

Another resident, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: “It felt like the London riots were starting again outside my house. I thought, 'this is about to go off’.

“Two or three were singled out and flung to the ground and then flung into a van. Nothing like this ever happens in this neighbourhood.”

The house owner said the party-goers had left £480 in cash on a table, apparently to cover repairs. She has so far had little luck chasing them down to recover the rest of the costs. The event was booked under a false name, although two boys from £9,000-a-term Mill Hill School have now been revealed as the organisers.

“I tried to contact the family of one of the boys but his mother left a voicemail on my phone telling me not to contact her child and instead to speak with his father,” she said. “I have tried to ask the boys for help in repairing the house but so far I’ve been practically ignored.”

The owner said the police had told her it was a civil matter, and there was nothing they could do to help beyond dealing with the alleged public order offences.

She said: “I want to warn people. When you’re renting, even through an agency, you have to really get all the details of the people when you take them on. This could happen to anyone.”

The case against a 17-year-old youth charged with a public order offence in connection with disorder in the street was dropped last week. A 17-year-old youth and a 16-year-old have been bailed to return to police at a later date.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn