Mon 24 Jul 2006
Locked up in custody for two hours: Tree-climbing friends Katy Smith, left, Sam Cannon and Amy Higgins
KHUSHWANT SACHDAVE, Daily Mail (UK), reports:
To the 12-year-old friends planning to build themselves a den, the cherry tree seemed an inviting source of material.
But the afternoon adventure turned into a frightening ordeal for Sam Cannon, Amy Higgins and Katy Smith after they climbed into the 20ft tree - then found themselves hauled into a police station and locked in cells for up to two hours.
Their shoes were removed and mugshots, DNA samples and mouth swabs were taken.
Officers told the children they had been seen damaging the tree which is in a wooded area of public land near their homes.
Questioned by police, the scared friends admitted they had broken some loose branches because they had wanted to build a tree house, but said they did not realise what they had done was wrong.
Officers considered charging the children with criminal damage but eventually decided a reprimand - the equivalent of a caution for juveniles - was sufficient.