When 14 year old, Sarah Hine, advertised a party on Facebook, she did not expect 200 teenagers to attend. Despite having her mother supervise the event, the gate-crashers were still able to cause $48 162 (£30,000) worth of damage to the family home, which included ripped furniture, a piano thrown through a window and graffiti on the walls. Unfortunately, none of the damage is covered by insurance because the guests were invited in.
Offensive graffiti was scrawled on walls, doors were torn from their hinges and shelves were pulled down with their contents scattered around.
The ceiling was left with a gaping hole after a group of teenagers got into the loft and leapt around on the insulation before one fell through.
Rumours on Twitter suggested a hedgehog was flushed down a toilet and someone defecated on a bed. Another report suggested a grand piano had been thrown into the garden from the £305,000 five-bedroom semi-detached home in Billericay, Essex.
Sarah’s family denied this yesterday, saying it was an upright piano that had been in the garden at the start of the party but was destroyed by revellers.
But one uncontested fact is that the 14-year-old’s mother, Esther, 56, is now counting the cost following the sickening realisation their insurers will not pay for repairs as the revellers were invited into her home.
‘I am stunned. Why would they do this?’ said local church leader Mrs Hine, whose desperate pleas to party-goers were ignored as she tried to maintain control.
‘There must be £20,000 to £30,000 damage but insurance won’t pay out because we invited them in.
‘I told the parents I would be here to keep an eye out for trouble. There wasn’t supposed to be drink but the police told me they confiscated an unbelievable amount of alcohol from the groups
Mrs Hine admitted she had ignored warnings two weeks ago from her daughter’s school that trouble was expected.
Staff at Anglo European School in Ingatestone – rated one of the best state schools in the country – warned against the open invitation that had been posted on Facebook.
But the mother of two, who is married to computer consultancy owner Andrew, 60, and has a second daughter, Rachel, 19, said: ‘I just didn’t think this would happen. I knew Sarah knew some people but did not expect that many to turn up.’
The party, ahead of Sarah’s 15th in February, began at 7pm on Friday and the chaos started within minutes, with people spilling out on to the road outside.
One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: ‘It was like Belfast in the 1970s out there. It was terrifying. There were hundreds of people out to cause trouble.’
Another said: ‘It was absolute carnage as there were children pouring out of the house.
‘I would have said there was about 800 of them when the police turned up at around 8.30pm. They were trying to escape up the road, not realising it was a cul-de-sac.’
Sarah Hine’s name was even ‘trending’ on Twitter at one stage due to the number of photographs being tweeted by revellers.
Essex Police said no one was injured at the party – the party-goer who fell through the ceiling appears to have had a lucky escape as a double bed was immediately below.
A spokesman said: ‘Police were called after calls from residents regarding nuisance behaviour in the street. Officers found a large number of teenagers had visited the area to attend a party advertised openly on social media.
‘No arrests were made and no complaints were made regarding criminal damage.’