A schoolboy has admitted starting a fire which gutted an Aberdeen house, causing more than £300,000 of damage.
The teenager – who was 15 at the time and cannot be named for legal reasons – appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court over the blaze at the home in Redwood Crescent, Cove.
The court was told the boy lit bits of paper in the kitchen and it eventually spread to other parts of the house, causing extensive damage to the contents and structure of the building.
Fiscal depute Carrie Stevens said the incident happened at around 7.30pm on March 13 last year.
The teenager was with other youths and entered the house before producing a box of matches and setting fire to bits of paper.
Ms Stevens said: “At 9.30pm a neighbour who lived opposite the property noticed the fire and contacted the fire service who contacted police.
“The fire service established the fire originated on the floor in the kitchen and had from there spread to other rooms.
“The property suffered significant damage due to the fire.
“The contents were also destroyed.”
She said the house was unoccupied at the time, adding: “The address belongs to a person who lives in America now.
“The owner of the property did have insurance and estimated the cost of the damage as £250,000 for the building and £60,000 for the contents.”
Ms Stevens said the teen was later interviewed, cautioned and charged and made no reply.
The boy, who is now 16, pleaded guilty to culpably and recklessly setting fire to multiple pieces of paper within various rooms of the house.
Stuart Beveridge, the teenager’s solicitor, did not give any mitigation at this stage of the case.
Sheriff Philip Mann deferred sentence on the boy until next month for the preparation of a social work report.
But he told the teenager: “You need to realise this is a serious offence that caused a lot of damage.”
The teenager was bailed ahead of sentencing.