THE 'devastated' mother of the youngest member of a gang of vandals which turned a Grade II-listed home into a 'war zone' told a court she is trying to teach her son 'right from wrong'.

The then 12-year-old was one of seven 'evil' youngsters who ransacked the £1.2million house owned by artist Joanna Pittard and her husband Matt.

Over a month-long spree of destruction while the family were away, the youths caused more than £200,000 of damage to the Isle of Wight property with chainsaws, axes and sledgehammers, making it 'uninhabitable'.

They damaged a wrought-iron chandelier, flipped over antique furniture, chopped down a palm tree and even destroyed the homeowner's beloved wedding dress.

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In a statement read to the court on Wednesday, Mrs Pittard said whilst cleaning up from the 'whirlwind' of destruction, she found 'soiled toilet paper', a children's toy with 'stab marks' and said her daughters have found graffiti across the house.

She told of her sorrow that her daughters would no longer be able to wear the dress on their wedding day.

The Year Nine schoolboy - now aged 13 - said he was 'really sorry' to the Pittards for the 'reckless' damage he had helped cause while his mother said he has made 'changes to his life'.

Oscar Vincent, defending, told the court the young boy admitted to attending the property on two occasions in June last year, smashing a window with a hammer.

He said the youth - who can't be named for legal reasons - went to the house with another member of the gang.

"They were standing outside," he said. "Two other people were inside and they invited them in.

"They entered through the back door. He was inside for approximately two hours on the third of June and he admitted that he did break a window with a hammer on that occasion.

"At the time, he accepted he had no right to be in [the house]. In his own words, he accepts his actions were impulsive and reckless."

Mr Vincent said the youth was 'being encouraged by the older boys' and by the time he had arrived at the property, 'much of the damage had already been done'.

During a court case at Isle of Wight Magistrates Court last month, the boy and the other six perpetrators - aged between 13 and 16 - admitted criminal damage to the property in Shanklin.

Statements read to the court on Wednesday from Mrs Pittard spoke about the devastating impact the event has had on her and her family and said a year later she continues to find glass - including in one of her daughter's slippers.

Sentimental items like family photos had been 'burnt' and Mrs Pittards' wedding dress was 'destroyed' after being covered in oil, nail vanish and footprints.

Discussing the dress, she said: "It had obviously been tried on as the zip was not how I left it.

"There is no way it can be cleaned. I have two daughters and neither of them can ever choose to keep it as an heirloom or wear it on their wedding day."

Mrs Pittard said she found one of her child's toys with 'stab marks in the back' and she also found glass in her daughter's slipper.

The terrified mother added: "I fear food [left at the property] may well have been sabotaged with glass so I had to get rid of it all."

The artist said they will never 'recover financially or emotionally' from the event and said she started making notes of the damage but had to stop as 'it kept going on and on'.

The court heard the couple have spent over £35,000 on repairs so far, but it is still 'absolutely nowhere near finished'.

An estate agent said damage to the property had 'seriously reduced' its market value by between £250,000 to £300,000.

Sentencing the youth, Magistrate Hext said as this was a 'joint offence', everyone involved was 'equally liable'.

He said:" I have no words to adequately describe the horrendous damage to the house and the life-changing impact it has on the Pittard family

"You can move on, I'm not sure they ever will."

The boy - who is currently in year nine - received the same sentence as the other six perpetrators which was a 12 month referral order while his parents have been ordered to pay £1,500 compensation.