A MORAY youth caused more than £35,000 worth of damage after setting fire to a barn in Forres.
The 14-year-old, who cannot be identified due to his age, had earlier pleaded guilty to torching the barn and much of its contents on April 14 last year.
At Elgin Sheriff Court, depute fiscal Ian Warburton said that the blaze at Balnageith Farm, near Forres, caused extensive damage to the barn (costing £19,000), 300 bales of straw and several tonnes of fertiliser. A combine harvester was also damaged.
Sheriff John Halley described the offence as "extremely serious".
"Even if you thought this is not what would happen when you set fire to the straw bales, you will know now what a dangerous thing you did, and that you put people’s lives in danger," he said.
"It could have been much worse than the way it turned out. You did a very, very dangerous thing."
Sheriff Halley said he was keen to monitor the accused’s behaviour, and deferred his sentence for six months to allow him to work alongside a variety of different agencies.
For the full report on this story, see this week's 'Northern Scot'