Newport pupils' heartbreak as vandals torch playground

UPSET: Malpas Court  Primary School pupils, from left, James Rice, Aimee Saunders and  Gabriel Seager-Davies with the torched boat in their playground

UPSET: Malpas Court Primary School pupils, from left, James Rice, Aimee Saunders and Gabriel Seager-Davies with the torched boat in their playground

First published in News

CHILDREN at a Newport primary school have been left devastated as vandals set their play boat on fire.

Headteacher at Malpas Court Primary School on Whittle Drive, Debra Guy, was made aware of the blaze when the caretaker opened up the school at 7am yesterday morning.

The fire destroyed the children’s play boat that had been donated to the school about a year ago.

Mrs Guy said: “It was just a mindless act and with the boat being just five meters from the school building, it could very easily have been a worse scene.”

The life size wooden boat, which was complete with a cabin and big enough for eight pupils to climb aboard, had been renovated and repainted to make it suitable for the children to play on.

The school had also purchased fancy dress outfits and toys along the sailing and pirate theme to aid the children’s imagination as they used the apparatus.

But on Sunday, at 7.30pm, fire crews were called to the school by a member of the public after seeing flames at the site.

Fire crews also contacted Gwent Police, who also attended the scene, as they believe that the fire was started deliberately.

Mrs Guy said: “The children, who are aged between four and seven years old, had no end of fun playing on the boat and after they were told of the fire they were very distraught.

“The children loved the boat and being able to get into different characters and they learn so much from it, so it is a great shame that they will no longer have it.”

She added that the event had put a dampener on everyone’s spirits as they prepare to break up for the summer holidays.

She is also concerned that further acts of vandalism may take place over the break.

Mrs Guy said that unfortunately she can’t see the boat being replaced as it was a donation and the school can’t afford to replace it.

She said: “We work very hard at the school to provide a stimulating and fun outside learning environment for children and I’m appalled that someone would do this.”

Gwent Police said that enquiries are still ongoing and if anyone has information they are asked to call Gwent Police on 101 quoting log 529 29/06/14

Comments (8)

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6:22pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Sing up for the amber boys says...

Absolute scumbags. Have they got nothing better to do ? If caught, please do a favour to humanity and shoot them in the head
Absolute scumbags. Have they got nothing better to do ? If caught, please do a favour to humanity and shoot them in the head Sing up for the amber boys
  • Score: 26

8:30pm Mon 30 Jun 14

Musing Militant says...

If the culprits are identified don't shoot right away. Wait until the Nato Summat is on. All the cops will be busy looking the other way at the presidents etc to worry about a few scummies. Maybe even the security services might take the buggers out if you say they are hardened terrorists!
If the culprits are identified don't shoot right away. Wait until the Nato Summat is on. All the cops will be busy looking the other way at the presidents etc to worry about a few scummies. Maybe even the security services might take the buggers out if you say they are hardened terrorists! Musing Militant
  • Score: 12

10:22pm Mon 30 Jun 14

displayed says...

For some people who dont like schools, they always seem to breaking into
em and vandalising em!
You would think they would avoid em like the plague!
For some people who dont like schools, they always seem to breaking into em and vandalising em! You would think they would avoid em like the plague! displayed
  • Score: 9

8:25am Tue 1 Jul 14

ExNewport says...

That's Newport for you!!
That's Newport for you!! ExNewport
  • Score: -7

9:03am Tue 1 Jul 14

inkyskin says...

I bet they lit it then ran away like the cowards they are!
I bet they lit it then ran away like the cowards they are! inkyskin
  • Score: 3

12:22pm Tue 1 Jul 14

throwy1 says...

The culprits are probably known the question is will their families report them?
The culprits are probably known the question is will their families report them? throwy1
  • Score: 3

4:57pm Tue 1 Jul 14

landyman3030 says...

Surely there is somebody who reads this paper who has a small wooden or fibreglass dinghy that could be painted and brought in. Ask around folks. Ring up somebody who has a boat on the river or in the yacht club. There has got to be a small one nobody wants. For the kids.
Surely there is somebody who reads this paper who has a small wooden or fibreglass dinghy that could be painted and brought in. Ask around folks. Ring up somebody who has a boat on the river or in the yacht club. There has got to be a small one nobody wants. For the kids. landyman3030
  • Score: 2

9:51am Thu 3 Jul 14

myopinion1988 says...

This is so sad! this day and age is just getting worse and worse
This is so sad! this day and age is just getting worse and worse myopinion1988
  • Score: 0

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