A TEENAGER who threw ‘fire bombs’ onto the M3, bringing the motorway to a standstill for more than 11 hours, has been jailed.

It comes after former public schoolboy Nicholas Elger, 17, pleaded guilty to two arson offences, as well as blackmails, burglaries and thefts.

Appearing at Winchester Crown Court, Elger was jailed for four and a half years after he created ‘incendiary devices’ and threw them from the motorway bridge near junction 10 twice.

The first incident took place on September 16, then on September 23 it resulted in the motorway being closed for around 11 hours, leaving people stranded and creating travel chaos as drivers tried to divert.

It is estimated to have lost the local economy £40million.

That followed a series of burglaries at Winchester College, where Elger had been a pupil, in which he stole computer equipment and caused damage, costing the college £52,000 in total.

He then began blackmailing the college, demanding they hand over several thousands of pounds in online currency ‘Bitcoin’.

Despite hiding his identity online, Elger was discovered after teachers recognised his handwriting on a envelope.

Questions had been raised about Elger’s mental health at the time after claiming voices told him to kill. Prior to today’s hearing he had been the subject of interim hospital orders, detaining him at a mental health facility.

However, after being cleared for sentencing by doctors, Robert Morris, mitigating, told the court that his actions had been caused by his “immaturity”, and that his behaviour had turned into “an extraordinary, out-of-character spiral”.

Also sentencing Elgar to 12 months in prison for the burglaries and three years for the blackmail, both concurrently, Judge Keith Cutler said: “This is not just naughty schoolboy behaviour.

“You have confessed to psychiatrists that you intended to kill people.

“I have come to the conclusion that there is a significant risk of harm to the public from you.”

Describing Elger, Judge Cutler added: “He’s very intelligent, possibly the most able chemist the college has produced in recent years.”

Elger will also spend four and a half years on licence following his release from prison for the arson offences.

However, Judge Cutler did not give additional sentences for the two counts of theft, in which he stole items from a Tesco store in preparation for each of the motorway incidents.