Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Fire starter detained indefinitely

A MAN who admitted starting a fire which ripped through the offices of South Oxfordshire District Council has been sectioned indefinitely under the Mental Health Act

A MAN who admitted starting a fire which ripped through the offices of South Oxfordshire District Council has been sectioned indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.

Andrew Main, 47, of Rokemarsh, near Benson, pleaded guilty to four counts of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered and not guilty to a charge of arson with intent to endanger life.

The Crown Prosecution Service accepted the guilty pleas and Maine was sectioned at Oxford Crown Court on Friday.

Det Insp Louise Tompkins, senior investigating officer in the case, said: ?Main?s guilty pleas have saved a number of witnesses the anguish of having to give evidence at court.

?I hope his convictions bring some sort of closure to all those affected by the incident.

?The hospital order reflects how unwell Mr Main was at the time he committed the offences.?

The charges relate to fires in the early hours of January 15 at the council?s headquarters in Crowmarsh Gifford, Howard Chadwick Funeral Service in Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, a house called Quakers Corner in Rokemarsh owned by Jean Gladstone, 80, and Rokemarsh Farm House, owned by Raymond Main.

Twenty-seven fire crews were called out to tackle the blazes. No one was hurt.

After the fires, the burnt-out wreckage of a car was found embedded in the front of the council offices and gas cylinders were found in the vehicle.

The two-storey building was severely damaged and may have to be demolished. The 400 staff were working from temporary offices until they moved into Milton Park, near Abingdon.

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