Boys face trial over ‘arson’ at Leyland school

Boys face trial over ‘arson’ at Leyland school

Boys face trial over ‘arson’ at Leyland school

First published in News

A trial date has been set for five boys accused of arson after a massive fire at a Leyland high school.

The boys, who cannot be named for legal reasons, appeared at Preston Crown Court last week in connection with a fire last year which destroyed significant areas of Leyland St Mary’s Catholic Technology College.

All the accused, who are aged 11, 14, 15, with two 13-year-olds, entered pleas of not guilty to charges of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The blaze ripped through the school in Royal Avenue, Leyland, on Sunday, September 1, 2013, just days before pupils were due to return after the summer holidays.

More than 100 firefighters were involved in tackling the blaze.

Many of the buildings affected by the fire needed to be demolished and pupils were taught temporarily in Ribbleton, Preston before moving to temporary classrooms at the site.

Work to re-develop the school with 3,500 sq ft of new space is expected to take around a year and cost around £7.5m with the aim for the project to be completed by autumn 2015.

The five boys will stand trial at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday, October 22.

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