max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C


Ipswich: Val Haynes, who left a child alone in a house which caught fire, to be sentenced later this month

14:12 04 September 2014

Scales of Justice

Scales of Justice

A man who left a young child alone in a house which later caught fire will have to return to court later this month to find out his sentence.


Val Haynes, 50, appeared at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to the charge of abandoning a child.

The court heard how Haynes, of Ramsey Close, Ipswich, had been looking after the child at a property in the town earlier this year before leaving it to pick a friend up from work.

Lucy Miller, prosecuting, said Haynes had volunteered to look after the child because the person who usually did this was unavailable.

Having looked after the child through the day, Haynes received a call to pick a friend up from work in the evening.

When he asked the child to come with him, they became difficult and refused. Although he wasn’t happy with leaving the child, Haynes decided he would because he thought he would be back quickly, Mrs Miller added.

However when he got back to the house around half an hour later, Haynes found the house on fire with police and fire crews in attendance.

Mrs Miller said an investigation showed the fire had probably been started by the child playing with a cigarette lighter.

She also said a neighbour had noticed the fire and tried to get into the house but couldn’t because the doors had been locked. In the end she saw the child and told them to go to the living room and open a window through which the child was rescued.

Mitigating, Claire Hullock said the 50-year-old had no previous convictions and would normally have been at work but was on holiday. She said he was just trying to help out and when he tried to organise the child to get into the car they became “stroppy”.

Ms Hullock added Haynes regretted the incident “most bitterly and dreadfully” and was haunted by what could have happened to the child, the property and other people.

She also said Haynes’ conviction would cause problems for him at work as well as jeopardise a trip to America he had been planning.

David Broughton, chairman of the bench, decided to adjourn the case for an all options pre-sentence report.

Haynes, who was given unconditional bail, must return to court on September 16 for sentencing.

Part of Sue Brooks' photograph of pupils and staff at Fonnereau House School, Ipswich, in 1952. Are you in the picture?

I recently asked readers if they had memories of Fonnereau House School, Ipswich, which was in Fonnereau Road, close to High Street.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A teenager must pay nearly £300 in fines and court costs after admitting being drunk and disorderly in Kesgrave.

Ipswich Park and Ride. Martlesham.

The two remaining park and ride sites in Ipswich could close in three years’ time if there is not a substantial increase in the number of motorists using them.

Doors reopen on the new look East of England Co-op Daily store in Woodbridge Thoroughfare. Staff members, left to right, Chloe Williams, James Buckles, Shirley Pierce.

Shoppers were greeted by the sight of a new-look Co-op on their high street yesterday, when a Suffolk branch of the store reopened following three weeks of refurbishment.

HGV drink-driver in court

A lorry driver carrying a trailer full of wine has admitted dangerous driving when weaving between lanes on the A14 while three times over the drink-drive limit.

Dan Poulter with Lord Robert Winston

ES 18.3.11

Suffolk County Council’s cabinet training day at Elstree film studios in Hertfordshire has come under fire from Conservative MP and former minister Dr Dan Poulter.

Childhood obesity figures revealed

One in 10 Suffolk children will become obese or overweight before leaving primary school, new figures have revealed.

Essex police are investigating a robbery at Jaywick.

An 88-year-old Essex man suffered a broken hip when he was knocked to the ground by robbers who burst into his Jaywick home.

St Peter and St Mary's Church, Stowmarket, celebrates the opening of its Christmas tree festival. Pictured: Harry and Elena Brown.

The festive season officially arrived in Stowmarket tonight as the town celebrated the launch of its annual Christmas tree festival and lights switch-on.

Exercise is important in the battle against SAD

Seasonal Affective Disorder – or SAD – is a very real yet little understood condition that haunts millions every winter.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24