REGIONAL: Hospital order extended over boy who threw firebombs onto M3

A judge has extended an interim hospital order issued to a 17-year-old boy who caused £40 million of damage to the economy by throwing firebombs on to a motorway.

Saturday, 19th May 2018, 3:19 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 8:36 am
Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of Simon Read of a Royal Navy bomb disposal unit on the M3, after emergency services shut a section of the motorway, causing travel misery for thousands of motorists. Picture: Simon Read/Twitter/PA Wire

Nicholas Elger, from Winchester, was made subject to the order in March after he pleaded guilty to two arson charges.

He also entered guilty pleas to burglary and blackmail charges against top public school Winchester College, which he attended as a boarder, and two charges of theft.

Judge Keith Cutler ordered on March 12 that the teenager be treated and assessed at a psychiatric hospital.

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Prosecutor Martyn Booth told Winchester Crown Court on Friday that this process was ongoing.

He said: ‘They are working towards a meeting in July in what they hope to achieve with this particular defendant, if anything.’

Extending the interim hospital order for an initial extra 28 days until June 15, Judge Cutler said: “There is a quite of lot of work going on, with some areas of concern.”

The judge indicated that the court could be in a position to sentence the defendant in July.

At the March hearing, Judge Cutler described Elger as a “dangerous young man” for throwing the petrol bombs on to the M3 motorway on two occasions in September 2017.

The second of these incidents caused the motorway and the Winchester area to become gridlocked for 12 hours.

The judge lifted the defendant’s right to anonymity given to minors because of the public interest in the serious offences.

The burglary and blackmail offences involved the defendant stealing £37,000 worth of computer equipment from Winchester College and twice demanding payment of £10,000 in the online currency bitcoin for him to stop carrying out further break-ins.