Glasgow & West Scotland

Teenager's jail term extended after primary school fire

Gowanbank Primary School
Image caption The fire caused extensive damage at the school

A teenager who set fire to a primary school, causing almost £160,000 of damage has had his jail term extended.

Colin McDonald, 18, targeted Gowanbank Primary in Pollok, Glasgow, on 7 December, 2016.

He admitted wilfully setting fire to the school causing extensive damage to the property and furniture.

He also admitted breaching a curfew and house breaking. Sheriff Paul Crozier branded him a "a menace" with "a horrendous schedule of offending".

McDonald appeared from custody at Glasgow Sheriff Court having already been detained for 22 months for breaching a previously imposed community payback order.

The sheriff ordered McDonald to serve 10 months for the fire raising and a further 12 months for the other two offences, which he will serve at the end of his current sentence.

Petrol canister

Procurator fiscal depute Mark Allan said "About 5.30pm on December 7, 2016, a local resident saw the accused and two others walk past his house in the direction of the primary school.

"One of them was carrying a green petrol canister.

"All of them were seen to enter the grounds and access was gained to the school through a window."

The trio were seen setting something alight which was thrown into the school and ignited.

Mr Allan said the three then escaped and made their way past the same neighbour's house again.

The emergency services arrived within 30 minutes, and five pumps were required to bring the blaze under control.

The green petrol canister was found outside the window where the accused had climbed into the school.

He was tracked down by police 10 days later.

Photographs of the damage caused to the school were shown to sheriff Crozier. The final repair bill was £157,595.

Solicitor advocate Eddie Gilroy, defending, said there had been a change in attitude from McDonald who "understands the impact" of his actions.

He said McDonald had a difficult childhood and hopes to return to stay with his grandmother when he is released.

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