A teenage boy has pleaded guilty to causing £1 million worth of damage to a farm in Eynsham, Oxfordshire, by way of arson.

The 16-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was given a four-month youth referral order and ordered to pay £61 in costs at Oxford Youth Court.

He was originally charged in December 2022, for the offence that happened in October 2021.

On October 24, 2021, at aound 3:00p.m, a barn was set alight at Acre Hill, Freeland Road, Eynsham.

As a result of the fire, the barn, owned by a man in his seventies, was destroyed. Cattle in the area also had to be evacuated, however none were injured.

Investigating officer PC Cory Fastnedge, based at Witney police station, said the incident caused “untold damage to the farm building” and the victim suffered “immeasurable loss as a result”.

The officer explained that the case was found to be unsuitable for out of course disposal – a method of resolving an investigation of low-level crime and anti-social behaviour – due to the “nature of the offence, the value of the damage, and the devastating effect that this had on the victim”.

“This caused delays in getting the case to court while further interviews and extensive reviews were carried out,” he said.

“This incident happened due to an extremely reckless act by the defendant that caused extensive damage.

“He can count himself very fortunate not to have received a more significant sentence, but we respect the judgement and hope that the boy can learn from his reckless actions and ensure there is no repeat in the future.

“The victim lost not only a vast amount of machinery and farm equipment, but this also badly affected his livelihood, and he is still recovering from what happened.”