In mid 2010 I took a call from a mother of a young female called Sarah who was in Year 11 at one of the Island’s High Schools. I spoke to her as I was the School Liaison Officer at the time. She briefly told me about what had occurred while she and her husband were away on holiday abroad.
The woman and her husband went away and left Sarah in the care of her grandmother.
Every thing was fine, however the Grandmother needed to go off island for one night, from Saturday returning Sunday.
While her Gran was away, Sarah decided to hold a house party. She added the details to Facebook only expecting a small number of people to attend, mainly those who knew her and maybe some of their friends.
What happened that night was far from what she envisaged.
Hoards of young people, including troublemakers turned up at the house. Sarah quickly lost control of the situation and the party descended into a scene of loud music and intoxicated young people. She thought about contacting a relative or a neighbour for help but felt that would only get her in trouble for having the party. She herself had been drinking and her perception of what was going on was a little blurred.
Many of those who came to the party were out of control. Her parents had a very expensive selection of fine wines, all were consumed by the party goers. One of Sarah’s Dad’s most prized possessions, a commemorative bottle of champagne was also opened and drank. The family’s kitchen and cupboards were raided and food was cooked and eaten. Drinks were spilled, staining the new beige carpet, damage was caused to furniture and light fittings and a mirror sprayed with graffiti in a varnish.
The various rooms of the house were used for sex, many used condoms were still found in the rooms by her parents on their return. Empty drink cans and bottles were strewn on a footpath at the rear of the house and again more used condoms.
Sarah woke up late on the Sunday with a banging hang over. On looking around the house she quickly realised that no amount of tidying up would sort out the mess.
Her grandmother was due back any time now and all would become apparent. At the time Sarah said that she had never felt so scared in her life and was in tears as she cleaned up. She tried to clean as best she could in a blind panic as her Gran was about to walk through the door.
On her Grans return the game was up. She asked what had gone on and Sarah tried to explain. Mum and Dad were due to return on Monday so Sarah had to sweat it out. Her parents were kept from knowing so as not spoil the end of their holiday.
On their return, Sarah’s parents were horrified to find how their home had been trashed. The damage was beyond comprehension. What hurt them most was the betrayal by their daughter.
The cost of the damage could not be bourn out of a normal household budget but luckily the family had insurance cover to help.
They made a claim which ran well over £5,000.
The parents were in a dilemma, did they make a formal complaint in which their daughter would be both a witness and maybe defendant. Sarah had been able to name some but not all of those responsible and could face some sort of repercussions. Many of those who attended were not directly invited and found out through Facebook as news spread.
To say the parents felt betrayed, violated, abused and thoroughly let down by Sarah is only part way to telling how they felt. Their newly refurbished home had been ransacked by a group of drunken youths who had total disregard for what was their private property and possessions. I would say the psychological scars remain to this day.
In the end no formal complaint was made.
"I find it difficult to describe my feelings and the effects having the upstairs of my home trashed by people trusted by my child. I came home to find doors hanging off; holes in doors and walls, beds broken, carpets stained with alcohol and the smell made me feel sick. My world fell apart as I tried to piece together how this could have happened - what sort of human being and someone known to my child could do this.
I sat and cried and felt empty, my privacy had been violated by strangers and there was nowhere to turn. I have never felt the same about my home since this night no matter how I try to put things right, replaced everything somehow it felt dirty and resulted in my moving from the home I loved."
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