Vandals aged seven attack Armadale speedway

The Monarchs' stadium was wrecked . Picture: Ron MacNeill
The Monarchs' stadium was wrecked . Picture: Ron MacNeill
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VANDALS as young as seven years old are being sought after £3000 worth of damage was caused to a Lothians speedway club’s ground.

Armadale Stadium, home of the Edinburgh Monarchs team, was attacked by vandals three times in seven days.

Dressing rooms have been ransacked and flooded, windows smashed and an attempt made to break into the club shop and set the building alight.

The stadium, which is also used as a greyhound racing track, was first broken into last Monday afternoon, during which tractors, used to prepare the race course for meets, had their windows smashed.

Showers, lights and heaters were also switched on, flooding the area.

The yobs returned on Saturday, this time causing extensive damage to the lower hospitality suite.

Police officers attended the stadium on Sunday morning to examine the damage. Following the staging of greyhound trials later that day, the yobs returned once more, smashing a window to gain entry to the upper hospitality area before attempting to set fire to the building.

The alarm was eventually raised by the landlady and children of Monarchs speedway rider Max Fricke, who lives beside the stadium and noticed a number of lights on.

Police have arrested a boy, while a positive line of inquiry is being followed regarding two further suspects.

It is understood that those being sought range from seven to ten years old.

Monarchs co-promoter John Campbell said: “The hospitality area was a mess when I visited the stadium on Sunday morning and it was in an even bigger mess when I returned in the afternoon.

“We are about to announce our plans as to how we propose to raise funds to install an air fence for next season. This has put us two steps back before we have even moved forward. I’d estimate the damage to be in the region of £3000. We are keen to get our hospitality unit fully operational for our next match on Friday as we have a booking.”

The Monarchs’ future was only secured last May thanks to the generosity of their supporters who pledged almost £30,000 to keep the club afloat.

It was also confirmed that Armadale would be made available to the team for as long as they want following a generous reduction in rent by stadium owner and former Hibs chairman Kenny Waugh.

Monarchs’ board of directors had feared being forced to pull the plug on the team ending 36 years of consecutive racing which began when the sport returned to Edinburgh at Powderhall Stadium in 1977.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We are investigating a number of incidents regarding malicious damage at Armadale Stadium. One youth has been charged and a report has been sent to the Children’s Reporter.

“We are following a positive line of inquiry in regards to two further suspects.”