North-east teenager spray painted graveyard and covered headstone with shaving foam

Aberdeen Sheriff Court.

A North-east teenager has been ordered to pay a church £200 in compensation – after spray painting its yard and covering a headstone with shaving foam.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, put it on a headstone and a plaque at the Episcopal Church on the High Street, Laurencekirk.

During the incident on September 2, 2016, he also sprayed white paint on the church and surrounding graveyard, causing £200 of damage.

The teen pleaded guilty to maliciously spraying the church and churchyard with shaving foam and spray paint and causing damage.

Speaking after the court case at Aberdeen Sheriff Court, the Reverend Michael Turner from the church said: “There are occasionally bouts of crime in Aberdeen and Laurencekirk and sadly the church isn’t exempt to this. “For the most part it is just annoying and something we have to deal with.

“It’s disappointing when something like this happens. The satisfaction he will have got from that won’t have lasted very long and it left us with a lot of cleaning up to do.”

Fiscal depute Kelly Mitchell told the court during the youth’s hearing: “Just before 1pm one of the clerks at the locus had attended when he noticed a headstone and plaque on a wall had been sprayed with shaving foam.

“He found two cans on the ground, one of shaving foam and one of shaving gel.”

Ms Mitchell said the clerk cleaned up and contacted police, later he also noticed the spray paint. Police used DNA evidence from the discarded shaving foam can to help trace the boy.

When asked by police why he committed the offence, he told them: “Because I was being stupid.”

John Ferrie, the teenager’s solicitor, said his client had acted in a “stupid and silly” manner.

He added: “He’s not had the easiest of upbringings.

“There was no motive against the church.”

He added: “He seems to be an articulate and clever young man so he has no idea why he acted in this way.”

Sheriff Philip Mann told the teen: “This was a really stupid thing to do.”

As well as being ordered to pay the church compensation, he was also placed under supervision for a year.