Teenager who set boy alight must say ‘sorry’

Victim Gabriel Wishart, ten, at home after the incident in which he was set on fire

Victim Gabriel Wishart, ten, at home after the incident in which he was set on fire

First published in News
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A TEENAGE boy who set a ten-year-old on fire in a York park has been caught and ordered to write a letter of apology.

The 13-year-old, who has not been named, is subject to a “community resolution disposal”*, in agreement with Gabriel and his family, requiring him to write a letter of apology and make amends, police said.

Gabriel Wishart, ten, of Bede Avenue, was sprayed with an aerosol can and set alight as he played in Ashton Park, Clifton, last week.

The Burton Green Primary School pupil dropped to the ground and rolled in snow to put out the flames.

His mother, Pamela Wishart, said her son was recovering from the shock and was relieved the matter had been resolved. She said: “Gabriel is doing okay, he is getting on with his life as best he can.

“The police have found somebody and are dealing with that person now. It’s a big relief to know it’s being dealt with and I think my son is doing a lot better.

“As far as I know police are doing everything they can to teach kids about the dangers. Kids do anything when they are bored, they do anything to fit in. Unfortunately they go ahead and do stupid things like this.

“Gabriel is happy the boy has been found and we are hoping he will have learned his lesson.

“My heart does go out to his parents – to find out your child has done something like that is heartbreaking.”

Mrs Wishart said she was grateful to the police for their help.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police said: “Officers from the local safer neighbourhood team investigating the incident have interviewed a local teenage boy. In agreement with the victim and his family, the 13-year-old has been issued with a community resolution disposal. This requires the boy responsible for the incident to write a letter of apology to the victim and make amends.”

Speaking after the incident last week, Sergeant Ed Noble, of the Clifton Moor police team, urged local shopkeepers not to sell cigarette lighters and accelerants such as aerosol cans to young people.

• Community resolution disposals are out-of-court resolutions for “lower-level” offences which are agreed with the police, offender and victim.

If victims talk to police and agree a course of action they are happy with – and if the offender agrees with the plan – there is no further criminal action.

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