Teen with ‘need for excitement’ sets fire to ticket booth at train station

Ballymena Bus and Rail Centre
Ballymena Bus and Rail Centre

A teenager with a “need for excitement” who set fire to a ticket booth at a train station has been given a three months custodial sentence.

Ronan Hutchinson (18), whose address was given as Hydebank prison in Belfast, struck at Ballymena Railway Station where he also caused damage to five windows.

Ballymena Magistrates Court heard that in the early hours of April 24, 2017, the defendant and another male entered Ballymena Station and CCTV captured an attempt to light a fire on the platform.

Hutchinson then set fire to papers in a ticket office but the Fire Service arrived and put out the flames.

Hutchinson and the other male, later went to the People’s Park in Ballymena where they threw stones at an office.

A defence barrister said a report showed the defendant had a “a need for excitement” and he said the motivation for causing damage on the night in question was that he was “acting cocky” and “trying to be funny”.

The lawyer said since being in prison Hutchinson is now alcohol and drug free.

Handing down a jail term, District Judge Nigel Broderick said the charges of arson, criminal damage and disorderly behaviour were serious “involving trying to set fire to things and damaging public property as well”.

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