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Can I claim for a child damaging my parked bike?


I parked my motorcycle on my front patio, whilst I took my car out.

Whilst I was out, a young child, around 10 years old, came onto my property and climbed on the bike and then pushed it over, causing £1600 of damage. I contacted the police but they won’t prosecute the child for criminal damage.

My insurance is Third Party, Fire and Theft – so I cannot claim against that. Is there any way I can recover the cost of damage from the parent?

Anthony Fyson, by e-mail



The Criminal Damage Act 1971 classifies criminal damage as:

‘A person who, without lawful excuse, destroys or damages any property belonging to another, intending to destroy or damage any such property, or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged.’

The damage must be more than minimal. In cases like yours where the damage is less than £5000, the maximum sentence for criminal damage is six months imprisonment.

The child is likely to be too young to be prosecuted for the offence of causing criminal damage. The parent is unlikely to be held liable for the action of the child but it may be that the mother has house contents insurance. If she does then this often covers legal liability to others for acts caused by members of the household. The hopeful solution is therefore to ask the mother for her insurance details and get in touch with them to resolve this.

If she has not got insurance then your own home insurance may cover this.


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