A schoolboy has admitted burning a Union Flag in the heart of an English village with a friend whose former punk rocker mother fled to Syria to be with her ISIS toy-boy.
The 14-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was charged with arson after the flag was torn down from its pole and burned with a lighter weeks before Remembrance Sunday.
The flag was then spat and urinated on during the incident in Borough Green, near Sevenoaks, Kent, in October 2014.
‘Horrible’: The 14-year-old admitted playing a part in the burning of this flag, alongside the son of jihadi bride Sally Jones, in the Kent village of Borough Green last October
The schoolboy appeared at youth court in Sevenoaks, Kent on Thursday, where he pleaded guilty to arson, supported by his mother and friend Jonathan Wilkinson
The 18-year-old – the son of jihadi bride Sally Jones – had already accepted a formal police caution for his part in the despicable act, along with another 14-year-old boy.
The trio were caught on CCTV cameras climbing on each other’s shoulders and tearing the Union Flag from its pole on October 27 – just weeks before Remembrance Sunday.
The incident happened just months after it was revealed Wilkinson’s 47-year-old mother, a former member of a punk rock band from Chatham, Kent, had travelled to Raqqa in Syria with her younger son to marry Islamic State fighter Junaid Hussain, 20, from Birmingham, who skipped bail to fight in Syria.
It has since come out that Jones has been actively recruiting potential brides for other fighters, while in December she tweeted: ‘May Allah destroy all those that cross us.’
Punk rocker: Jones, a life-long benefits claimant, converted to Islam and fled the UK last year
Prosecuting, Paul Edwards told the hearing the flag was pulled from its pole before being burned, spat on and urinated over.
The 14-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, arrived at court with his mum, and friend Wilkinson.
‘I don’t know why we did it to be honest,’ the 14-year-old told the court.
‘I didn’t know they were going to burn it, I just thought they were going to take it down.
‘I wanted to go but I also wanted to stay.
‘I did hold them up to help but I didn’t do any of the spitting or anything.’
Twitter: Jones met her husband through the micro-blogging site, and remains an active user
Left behind: The 18-year-old’s mother took her youngest son to Syria, but left her oldest at home
The defendant’s mum told the court her son ‘was in the wrong place at the wrong time’.
She said: ‘Jon, the other party, is here today to tell everyone that he did it and it was his idea.
‘My son was there when he shouldn’t have been but he didn’t do it.
‘He’s a loving boy.’
Defending, Sasha Queffurus said: ‘He felt embarrassed when he didn’t get involved because the others were telling him not to be uncool.
‘But he knows he should have just gone home and he knows it was wrong.
‘He wants to pay for the damage.’
Sentencing, chairman of the bench Nigel Cox said: ‘It is a bit horrible.
‘You might not like the Union Flag but it is for our protection and our benefit.’
Tweets: The mother-of-two married convicted hacker Junaid Hussain before travelling to the Middle East last year, and has since used her social media presence to encourage more girls to become jihadi brides
The 14-year-old will be supervised by the Youth Offenders team over this period and his parents were ordered to pay costs of £250 to the CPS, a victim surcharge of £15 and a third of the flag’s damages at £16.66.
The flag was found the day after the incident by local councillor Mike Taylor.
Speaking at the time he said: ‘Borough Green is proud of being British, and celebrates that by flying two Union Flags in the village, at the library and the crossroads.
‘As a youth worker for many years I am largely immune to the occasional stupidity and vandalism perpetrated by young people, it’s usually thoughtless high spirits aggravated by lager or pot, but I witnessed an act that chilled me.
‘Because there appear to be no other instances of vandalism, perhaps this was a deliberate political statement.
‘But that flag was a constant reminder of the sacrifices of many.’