TWO young people who were part of a group which vandalised antique railway carriages used in the Downton Abbey TV series have been told they “should be ashamed of themselves”.

Benjamin Terry, 19, and Mollie Dawson, 18, were part of a group of eight teenagers who entered the seven 1930s ‘Gresly’ teak carriages at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in Pickering on July 22 last year.

The damage caused by the group, discovered by a cleaner the next day, included smashed windows, wrecked furniture and fixings, and stolen food and drink.

Chris Price, general manager at the NYMR, estimated the cost of the criminal damage at £27, 656.

Terry had previously pleaded not guilty to charges of theft of food and drink to the value of £247 and of causing criminal damage to property. Appearing at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court today (Thursday, April 26), however, he changed his plea to guilty for the theft. The other charge was dismissed.

Dawson pleaded guilty to both charges at a hearing in March.

For Terry, Liam Hassan said: “There is nothing sinister at work here. What you’re dealing with is a group of young people who were fuelled by drink and youthful stupidity.”

For Dawson, Robert Vining said his client had been 17 on the night in question, and that although she admitted breaking a lightbulb, she “wasn’t the instigator” of the damage. He said she’d been intoxicated and believed the carriage was abandoned.

Sentencing the pair, magistrate Duncan Webster said: “This course of offending has caused local community outrage. It was no doubt stupid - youthful or otherwise. It was wanton.

"The North Yorkshire Moors Railway is a charity which brings considerable benefits to the local community."

He added: “You were in drink and there was a gang of you. It’s people like you who give young people a bad reputation and quite frankly you should be ashamed of yourselves.”

Both were given a 12-month conditional discharge, but Terry, of Jute Road in York, was ordered to pay £30.88 to the NYMR for the theft, as well as £85 costs and a £20 surcharge.

Dawson, of Keld Head Orchard, Kirkbymoorside, had to pay £30.88 for the theft, costs of £85, a £20 surcharge and a compensation order of £500 for the criminal damage.

The six other defendants were dealt with in the youth court. They all received referral orders and had to pay costs and compensation.