Teen's Facebook party invite wrecks home


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14-year-old Sarah Hine from Billericay, Essex, paid the price for publishing an invitation to her birthday party on Facebook - when 800 people tuned up, ransacked her home, and caused £30,000 of damage.

So how could this happen, and what can parents do to protect their homes?

The party

The party started at 6.30pm on Friday night. Sarah had invited 30 friends from school, but had foolishly decided to publish full details of the party on Facebook - including her address.

According to The Telegraph, her mother had been contacted by police, who warned her that the party had been advertised on social media. However, she decided that the party could go ahead, as she would be around to keep an eye on things.

Two hours after the party started, police were called by concerned neighbours. When they arrived they discovered every room in the home had been wrecked, graffiti scribbled on walls, doors ripped off their hinges, ceilings kicked down, and computers smashed.

Her Mother, Esther Hine, told the Daily Mail that up to £30,000 of damage had been done, but that the insurance wouldn't pay out because she had invited the teenagers in. She added: "I just didn't think this would happen."

The lesson

Sarah is just a long line of teenagers to learn this particular lesson the hard way. Last month we reported the news of Ffion Fosbrooke, the daughter of a lottery winner, who saw 200 teenagers show up and damage her home after posting details of her party on Facebook. Back in April it was Bradley McAnulty's 16th birthday in Poole in Dorset which went viral on Facebook and saw 400 people show up.

The advice from the police is not to advertise your party at all on Facebook - for any reason. If you don't know someone well enough to tell them about the party face-to-face, then you don't know them well enough to invite them. Parents need to be very clear that if news of the party hits social media at all, the party is off and police will be called.

And if they need to be convinced, parents could always tell them about the case against Ollie Boorman, a 21 year old computer engineer who threw a party in his parents home in Tewin, Hertfordshire while his parents were on holiday.

More than 1,000 people showed up, the police were inundated with complaints and had to call on a force 30 miles away for assistance. Last week he was given a community order, a £500 compensation bill, ordered to pay £85 court costs and given a curfew for eight weeks that means he has to be home by 8pm every night.

Surely that would be enough to convince any teen that's it's not worth the bother. But what do you think? Is this enough? Or is it just not safe to throw a party nowadays? Let us know in the comments.