Six-year-old boys held after house rampage

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The Independent Online
TWO six-year-old boys broke into a house and wrecked its contents because they 'felt like it', according to police, writes Steve Boggan.

Officers in Basingstoke, Hampshire, said that it was the worst destruction they had seen, but are powerless to act because the boys are under 10, the age of criminal responsibility.

The boys, who cannot be named, broke into the house in Oakridge at about 1pm on Saturday by kicking in a glass section of the front door. Police say they then went into the kitchen and smashed a large quantity of glassware.

Next, they moved into the lounge where they smashed a double-glazed window and damaged a television, video recorder and hi-fi system by throwing them on to the floor. On their way upstairs, they broke a mirror in the hall.

In the various bedrooms, they turned over wardrobes and pulled out drawers, throwing their contents on to the floor before pouring bath oil and perfume on carpets and clothes. The destruction ended in the bathroom, where they damaged a door and kicked a hole in a lavatory seat, before making off with some loose change and a pocket calculator.

They were caught when neighbours surrounded the house because of the sounds of crashing from within.

Inspector John Heath said: 'There doesn't seem to be a motive and there is no connection between the boys and the house . . . They just seem to have smashed up the house because they felt like it.'

The father of one boy was taken to see the damage and was 'horrified', Inspector Heath said, adding that there had been no previous trouble from the boys and they both came from good homes.

A report has been sent to social services officials, who will establish whether the boys would benefit from counselling.

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