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Gang of 6-13 y-olds cause $100,000 damage to Catholic school

A gang of children as young as six who caused more than $100,000 damage to a NSW Catholic school during a vandalism spree told police they had acted out of boredom.

The six children, three girls aged six, nine and 12, and three boys aged 11, 12 and 13, trashed seven classrooms at St Agnes Catholic Primary School in Port Macquarie.

The children, who were at a sleepover at a home near the school, entered the building five times between 3pm on Boxing Day and 4am the next morning.

The children found more than 20 two-litre containers of paint and splashed it around on computers, desks, ceilings, blinds, walls and carpeted floors.

They defecated and urinated in the classrooms and wrote obscene graffiti on the walls before trying to set fire to the building using a tissue box and methylated spirits.

They stole a tape recorder, portable stereo, video and other electrical equipment along with a quantity of school supplies.

The supplies were later found discarded in a nearby sewage treatment works.

The vandalism has shocked police and the school community.

"I was disgusted and concerned about the ages of the kids involved," St Agnes parish priest Fr Leo Donnelly (pictured) said yesterday.

"It was a shocking thing."

Police arrested the six children on December 29 after a girl's name and telephone number was written on a whiteboard at the school.

The Australian – Kids on $100,000 vandalism spree>

9 Jan 2004