Children in court for arson

THREE children appeared in court charged with arson of a house which has left developers with a £25,000 bill.

Two boys, aged 11 and 12, and a 13-year-old girl, all from the Peterlee area, face allegations of arson after a fire which damaged a two-bedroomed house in Eden Court, Horden, on Friday, March 11.

A youth court sitting at Peterlee Magistrates’ Court heard the fire was started with bags of polystyrene balls which had been left inside the house by builders.

The damage left by the blaze led developer Holystone to have to knock down the property.

During the short hearing, magistrates agreed the case could not be considered as a grave matter and could be dealt with by the court rather than being sent to a crown court.

None of the youngsters, who cannot be named for legal reasons, entered pleas.

The case was adjourned until Thursday, April 14, to allow their solicitors to consider pleas.