Party becomes 'horror show' as word spreads on internet

A mother told today how her daughter's 16th birthday party descended into an "absolute horror show" when around 300 people gatecrashed her luxury home after it was advertised on Facebook.

One hundred people were invited via an online invitation list to the party, inspired by the MTV reality series My Super Sweet 16, which documents wealthy teenagers preparing their coming-of-age parties.

After Georgina Hobday's parents, Michael and Sylvia, left their four-storey townhouse in Brighton, East Sussex, to allow genuine guests to enjoy themselves, Mr Hobday was called by police on his mobile phone, telling him the party was out of control.

Mrs Hobday told the Brighton Argus: "It was an absolute horror show. I will never have a party for my daughter here again. She had no idea who most of the people were and they were rampaging through the house.

"The garden has been ruined, the grass is just mud, people were walking through the pond and I heard one boy was trying to headbutt the mirror. My front garden was full and some people were climbing up the balcony and trying to get through the windows.

"My floor was blackened with dirt left from shoes and there were cigarette burn marks around the bottom of the door. People had taken out lightbulbs and just stamped on them in the garden.

"They knocked over plants and smashed my garden shed. When the police came they'd tried to hide under the decking so they could just carry on. When I left the house there was no alcohol in the house but when I came back there were beer cans and vodka bottles everywhere.

"I think Facebook is a major cause, as well as texting. I heard that a Bluetooth alert was going round saying 'hot party close to the Seven Dials'."

Four adult friends of Georgina's parents were asked to keep an eye on the party but it was said they could only watch as the gatecrashers rampaged through the house on Saturday night.

Mrs Hobday added: "The My Super Sweet 16 programmes have made the 16th birthday a big deal.

"A few years ago it was always their 18th birthday and they could go to clubs but it seemed that realistically the only place Georgina could have her party was at home."

Inspector Andy Richardson, of Sussex Police, said: "There was a sea of people, the place was overrun and it was difficult to move, which was a major safety problem that required a lot of police time and resources.

"We eventually got the unwanted guests out at around 11pm."

No arrests were made, a Sussex Police spokeswoman said.

She said: "To all intents and purposes the parents did the right thing by getting adults to, in effect, act as bouncers. They invited a large number of people but as soon as word got out on Facebook that there was a party in the area, the place got overrun with people.

"Many officers were called to disperse the crowds and to ensure there wasn't any trouble. We managed to move people on quickly as they knew they were not welcome at the party."

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