A BOY accused of throwing an 'incendiary device' on to a Hampshire motorway which closed the road for more than 11 hours has also been accused of blackmailing a school for thousands of pounds, a court has heard.

The 17-year-old, from Winchester, appeared at Basingstoke Youth Court accused of two counts of arson with intent to endanger life and two of causing danger to road users in relation to incidents on the M3, near Winchester, on September 16 and 23.

As previously reported, police closed the M3 near Winchester on Saturday, September 23 and bomb disposal experts were called to investigate the “potentially hazardous material” that was found in the carriageway between junctions 9 and 11, causing travel chaos across southern Hampshire as motorists attempted to divert around the closure.

James Burnham, prosecuting, described the items as incendiary devices and said the impact of the closure would have led to a cost of millions of pounds.

The defendant, who cannot be named because of his age, is also accused of carrying out eight offences of burglary against a school during which computer equipment of an unknown value was stolen.

He is also accused of two charges of blackmail with menaces against the same school each demanding payment of £10,000 in the online currency bitcoin.

The defendant faces two further charges of theft of miscellaneous items from a Tesco supermarket on the days preceding the two motorway incidents.

He will now be remanded in youth detention until he appears before Winchester Crown Court on October 11.

Social media users shared pictures of the scene near Winchester on September 23, with one showing a man walking his dog on the hard shoulder, others playing golf, and another doing a handstand on the carriageway.

Bomb disposal experts were called to the scene but police later said the substance was flammable, not explosive.

There was a similar incident on the same bridge, which leads to St Catherine's Hill, at around 4am on Saturday September 16.

On that occasion, police received reports of something being dropped on to the carriageway and that an object was alight, but when officers attended they found only broken glass and no fire.