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Boys deny barn arson near Felixstowe which caused damage valued at £155,000

04 April, 2017 - 20:00
The fire at Walton Stables

The fire at Walton Stables

Archant

Two boys have denied causing damage valued at £155,000 by destroying a barn after setting light to a PE top with an lighter and an aerosol.

The aftermath of the barn fire at Walton StablesThe aftermath of the barn fire at Walton Stables

The 14 and 15-year-old youths, who cannot be identified due to their ages, have denied arson at Walton Stables in High Road, Trimley St Mary, on July 4 last year.

At the beginning of their trial before Ipswich youth court today, prosecutor Alan Wheetman said police received a call from firefighters just before 6.10pm asking for assistance as smoke was wafting over the road nearby.

When officers arrived, the barn was said to be “well alight” and several people were watching the fire.

The court was told two others youths – a 14-year-old girl and a 15-year-old boy – have already admitted arson.

The boy is now due to give evidence for the prosecution against the two youths on trial.

Mr Wheetman said: “It’s clear from the evidence he will give that he blames both (the boys) for having started the fires at the barn by setting fire to clothes, namely a PE top, to set fire to the walls, using the aerosol deodorant as a kind of makeshift blowtorch.

“He accepts his part, that he took paper and added that to the fire, and he will tell you how the fire spread after the aerosol canister of deodorant had been thrown on to the fire and he had attempted to kick it off, but that effectively caused the fire to burn brighter. Then the canister exploded which caused lots of smoke, which later turned into a fire which destroyed the barn.”

The court heard the boy, through his basis of plea, denied any part in deliberately setting the fire.

Originally the damage was estimated as between £60,000 and £100,000.

However, the court heard Bidwells - which looks after the property for the owner Trinity College Cambridge - now say the total cost of the damage, if it was to be put back into its original condition, is valued at £155,000.

Mr Wheetman said: “The barn was effectively completely destroyed by the fire.”

During their police interviews, the three boys and the girl admitted they were present when the fire was lit.

However, the court was told each of them blamed somebody else in regards to the level of participation in starting the blaze.

The trial is expected to continue until the end of the week.

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