Jail for man who started fire at cinema

A man who started a fire at a cinema packed with more than 200 people is today beginning a jail term.

IPSWICH: A man who started a fire at a cinema packed with more than 200 people is today beginning a jail term.

Kevin Bryenton, of Anchor Street, Ipswich, was jailed for two years at Ipswich Crown Court yesterdayafter pleading guilty to arson at Cineworld in Grafton Way on August 24.

The 25-year-old, who worked as a security guard at the cinema, found a box of matches and lit two of them and threw them on to cardboard boxes in a store room.

This triggered the cinema's fire alarm which resulted in more than 200 people having to be evacuated. It is estimated that the cinema lost �3,000 in revenue and in compensating those people who were evacuated.

Bryenton had previously pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and theft of a computer game. He also admitted theft after he wrote one of his uncle's cheques out to himself for �320 and pleaded guilty to another charge of committing fraud.

Sentencing Bryenton, who sat crying in the dock, Judge John Holt said: “Fortunately, because of the fire precautions, the fire was discovered quickly. It was only good fire safety devices which stopped the fire spreading. Clearly life was endangered.”

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Kevin McCarthy, representing Bryenton, said his client had “absolute contrition” for what he had done but could not explain why he did it.

“You have a young man in desperation who has many unresolved issues relating to his parents death within six months of each other.”

Judge Holt sentenced Bryenton to two years in prison for arson, and six months each of both theft offences and committing fraud and one month for possession of cannabis. He was told the sentences would run concurrently.

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