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Thousands of pounds damage as Rainham school’s football pitch destroyed by arson

PUBLISHED: 14:39 18 June 2012 | UPDATED: 10:23 19 June 2012

Flames ravage the astro turf

Flames ravage the astro turf

Arsonists caused tens of thousands of pounds of damage to a Rainham school’s football pitch yesterday afternoon (Sunday).

Smoke from the incident at an Astroturf pitch at the Brittons Academy, Ford Lane, was seen billowing across the nearby playing fields.

The five-a-side pitch was completely destroyed in the blaze.

A resident whose house backs on to the fields said: “I was sitting in the garden and I thought it was Scargill School that had gone up, so I took a walk over there to see what it was.

“They’ve got four pitches there and one of them had completely gone up.

“There were people waiting for the fire brigade there, and then they had a bit of trouble getting through a gate to get there.”

The other pitches nearby were not damaged in the incident.

Brittons Academy principal Mr Marshall, said: “Having viewed the CCTV, the Academy has been shocked by the speed at which this act of mindless vandalism has deprived the local community of a much needed recreational resource.

“I am appalled that anybody could wish to deny the community of this facility.”

A fire brigade spokesman said that the incident appeared to be arson.

It is believed that the identities of the culprits may have been captured on the school’s CCTV.

A spokesman for Havering Police said: “Police were called to an incident at Brittons School, Ford Lane , Rainham at 3.45pm.

“An Astroturf pitch had suffered damage by arson. The exact cause of this incident is currently being investigated.”

Anyone with information about the crime should call Havering Police on 101.

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