Youths cleared over M1 blaze

Six teenagers accused of setting a fire that closed the M1 and caused £4.5m damage last April, did not start the blaze, a jury has found. But they were convicted with three others of taking part in a spate of arson attacks across Barnet, north London.

Luke Matthews, 18, of Hatfield, Johno Johnson, 18, of Edgware, and a 17-year-old boy all admitted four counts of conspiracy to commit arson. Jurors found Damien McQueen, 18, of Edgware, Hannah Parker, 18, of Edgware, a 15-year-old boy and Juan Durandt, 18, of Edgware, guilty of two counts each of conspiracy to commit arson. A 16-year-old boy from Edgware was also found guilty of one count. Josh Lambe, 18, of Edgware, previously admitted one count of the same charge. They will be sentenced in May.