Ipswich children’s nursery arsonist who fled court before sentencing is finally jailed

Little Learners Nursery, based in Landseer Play Centre, Hogarth Road, sustained structural and smoke

Little Learners Nursery, based in Landseer Play Centre, Hogarth Road, sustained structural and smoke damage after a blaze in the open between the nursery and the adjacent Ipswich Furniture Project. - Credit: Archant

A children’s nursery arsonist who fled court before his sentencing has been recaptured and jailed for nearly three years.

Darren Grimwood, of Bishop’s Hill, Ipswich, was due to be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on June 16 for two arsons, and theft from a vehicle.

The 29-year-old had brought bags with his belongings to court as he had been warned he could face a prison term.

However, shortly before the start of his hearing he went to the toilet before leaving the building. Relatives were left to look after his bags.

When told Grimwood was no longer in the court building Judge Rupert Overbury said to Grimwood’s solicitor Neil Saunders: “I understand he was here a moment ago, but was last seen hot-footing it up the street.”


You may also want to watch:


Police subsequently found Grimwood at a property in east Ipswich a few days later.

Grimwood had previously admitted two arsons on March 16 in Hogarth Road, Ipswich. One was at Little Learners’ Nursery, the other at Ipswich Furniture Project.

Most Read

Four double-glazed windows at the nursery were blown out and there was structural damage to a rear wall.

When Grimwood was brought back to court, Judge Overbury sentenced him to a total of 33 months’ imprisonment for the arsons, the theft, the bail offence and also breaching a previous suspended prison sentence.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter