Teens plead not guilty to Valley Gardens arson

tis   The ruins of the wooden castle in the Valley Gardens play area.  (111013M1f)

tis The ruins of the wooden castle in the Valley Gardens play area. (111013M1f)

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THREE teenagers have denied arson following a fire in the Valley Gardens last year.

The blaze in the early hours of Saturday, October 8, burned down the wooden play fort, which is now being replaced by Harrogate Council.

The three teenagers - two from Harrogate, both aged 17, and one from Scarborough, aged 16 - pleaded not guilty to arson when they made an initial appearance at Harrogate Youth Court on Wednesday.

Having the option to send the case to crown court, magistrates in Harrogate instead decided to keep it in the youth court, deeming the offence not serious enough to warrant a sentence beyond their powers.

The trio will face trial at a later date. The next hearing is set for April 11, when a list of witnesses will be drawn up for the case.