Teenaged vandals admit to shocking attack on cemetery

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TWO youths admitted their role in causing around £30,000 worth of damage to graves at Grantham Cemetery.

Around 30 graves were desecrated on the night of Saturday, March 5, leaving many families in the town heartbroken.

The two youths, aged 16 and 17, will be sentenced at youth court. The 16-year-old also admitted a charge of wilfully obstructing a police constable.

The Journal is unable to publish any details which would identify the youths after solicitors successfully obtained an order banning any details of their identities from being published.

The order was gained in spite of objections raised in court by the Journal in the name of open justice.

Speaking afterwards, Insp Phil Taylor of Lincolnshire Police said: “This kind of criminal damage had a huge impact on people and it upset an awful lot of people around Grantham.

“We investigated, made swift arrests and brought these two individuals before the courts so that justice could take place.

“We hope this demonstrates to the people of Grantham that we take their concerns seriously and that it gives some kind of closure to the families who were affected.”

The two other males who were charged with criminal damage - a 21-year-old and a 16-year-old - will face trial at crown court after magistrates decided the case against them was too serious.

Daniel Fitas, aged 21, of Victoria Street, did not enter a plea, while a second 16-year-old denied causing criminal damage.

The men are likely to appear together at Lincoln Crown Court at a later date. Their next court date is at Grantham Magistrates on July 6 for committal.

Solicitors also attempted to push through an order banning the Journal from revealing details about Fitas. The rare and unusual “section 11 order” would have prevented the publication of Fitas’ address on the grounds they fear for his safety.

But the order was overruled after the Journal objected, pointing out that even rapists, paedophiles and murderers are rarely “protected” by such an order.