Man caused £26k worth of damage after setting fire to van and car

Ipswich Magistrates' Court.

Nicholas Smith pleaded guilty to three counts of arson - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

A 20-year-old man who caused around £26,000 worth of damage after setting fire to two vehicles will be sentenced at the crown court. 

Magistrates heard how Nicholas Smith, of Creeting Road East, Stowupland, destroyed a Nissan NV400 van by fire between February 26 and March 2. 

The Nissan van, which belonged to Rodbridge Car Centre, was worth £23,000, the court heard. 

Prosecutor Pretty Barber told magistrates that a fire officer said the vehicle fire had started in the engine area and spread towards the back of the van. 

Another vehicle, a Renault Clio, was ignited on March 3 after a cloth was placed in the grill area of the car and ignited, Ms Barber said. 

The fire caused damage to the front grill of the car, Ms Barber said. 

Fascias and guttering at a property in Creeting Road East, Stowupland, were also damaged by fire between February 26 and March 3, causing around £1,000 of damage. 

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Mark Holt, mitigating, said his client had underlying mental health issues. 

Appearing at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday, Smith pleaded guilty to three charges of arson. 

Magistrates committed the case to the crown court and ordered a pre-sentence report from the Probation Service. 

Smith was granted unconditional bail and will appear at Ipswich Crown Court for sentence at a date to be fixed. 

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