TEENAGE vandals went on a wrecking spree causing tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage to 20 buses, a court heard.

The boys, one of whom was 13-years-old, targeted buses at the Creekmoor park and ride in Upton Road on three separate occasions in July last year.

Poole Magistrates' Court heard that a total of 20 vehicles had been vandalised causing nearly £13,500 worth of damage.

But due to the amount of damage and the need for some of the vehicles to be off the road for up to 60 days the total cost to the bus company is estimated to be around £120,000.

The pair, who cannot be named for legal reasons, would smash the windows and headlights on the vehicles and then enter the buses and let off the fire extinguishers on board.

They were eventually caught in a police sting when officers left a 'trap car' at the site. An alarm on the vehicle was triggered when it was damaged by the boys and officers rushed to the scene and arrested the pair.

The buses were all part of the Go South Coast fleet, which includes Morebus.

Louise Holmes, prosecuting, said that the firm's manager "couldn't believe the amount of damage" and that as a result some services had to be suspended and some of the vehicles were not roadworthy for almost two months.

At court on Tuesday one of the boys, who is now 14, was sentenced after admitting his part in the offence.

The court heard that he suffered from ADHD and dyslexia but that he now had his medication sorted and was a "changed" person.

It was also said that because of his young age he didn't "fully comprehend the level of damage caused and how it affected people".

Addressing the court the 14-year-old, from Poole, said: "Looking back this was a pretty stupid thing to do and I would never do it again."

Richard Wade, Morebus operations manager, said after the case: “These acts of vandalism occurred on several dates and caused significant disruption to the way we run our business.

"On the first occasion, we were forced to cancel some services into Poole on a Monday morning, and a number of services - including school buses - were running late.

“The repeated attacks exhausted supplies of glass in the right shape and sizes for our buses - leading to delays before we could repair them.

"We had to divert some of our team - valuable resources - away from what they should have been doing to collect spare buses from other locations.

“Our team reacted brilliantly to what were very challenging circumstances, and it is thanks to goodwill and a substantial amount of effort that we were able to provide a reasonable level of service.

“We are grateful to the police for their efforts to apprehend the offenders. We don’t tolerate vandalism on our buses or at our depots, and will always pursue prosecution against any individuals identified in committing such offences.

"We have agreed to work with the authorities to help rehabilitate those responsible, and are pleased the matter is now dealt with.”

The 14-year-old was handed a reparation order for a period of three months and and was ordered to pay £750 compensation to the bus company and write them a letter of apology.