Written by Bella Dalima
11 Oct, 2014 | 3:31 pm
A schoolgirl on work experience set fire to a shop causing over £1 million worth of damage because she was bored and wanted to go home, a court heard.
The 15-year-old, who was working at the homewares shop on placement from her fee-paying school, started the blaze by setting fire to waste cardboard with a cigarette lighter on 8 July.
The fire quickly spread through the Nuneaton, Warwickshire, building, with several fire crews battling the blaze for over half an hour in a bid to get it under control.
‘The incident occurred at lunchtime when the store was busy with customers, and elderly customers were caused distress,’ said Ninda Gill, prosecuting.
‘The potential for injury to staff and customers was great as the store was consumed by smoke.’
Fire investigators rated the danger to life at eight on a scale of one to ten, although the building was evacuated without anyone being injured.
A ‘conservative estimate’ put the damage caused at being up to £1million.
The teen, who cannot be named, said she ‘didn’t think of the consequences’ and that she wished she could ‘turn the clock back’.
‘It was a stupid act,’ she said.
She pleaded guilty to the offence at Warwick Crown Court and will be sentenced following a psychiatric assessment.
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