Chilford Hall barn arson: Accused admits drink problem

Chilford Hall fire damage Chilford Hall's wedding barn and adjoining rooms were burned down in June

Related Stories

A 28-year-old man accused of burning down a wedding venue in an attack, which another man has admitted, told a court he had a drink problem.

An 18th Century barn and adjoining rooms were torched at Chilford Hall, Linton, Cambridgeshire, in June.

Mark Hall, of Haverhill, Suffolk, told Cambridge Crown Court he had been drinking "quite heavily" on the night of the fire.

Mr Hall denies arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Speaking through an intermediary because he is autistic and has learning difficulties, he said he had been adopted at the age of seven.

Being sacked

He came to Haverhill at the age of 16, had never had a job and was on benefits.

His drinking problem had got worse since his father had died in April this year, he said.

Ex-worker Thomas Richardson, also of Haverhill, admits arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The prosecution said Richardson, 27, of Pipers Close, had worked at the business for seven years before being sacked in 2009 for stealing alcohol and drinking on the premises.

The trial continues.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Cambridgeshire



12 °C 6 °C


  • Witley Court in Worcestershire Abandoned mansions

    What happened to England's lost stately homes?

  • Tray of beer being carried10 Things

    Beer is less likely to slosh than coffee, and other nuggets

  • Spoon and buckwheatSoul food

    The grain that tells you a lot about Russia's state of mind

  • Woman readingWeekendish

    The best reads you need to catch up on

  • Salim Rashid SuriThe Singing Sailor

    The young Omani who became a prewar fusion music hit

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.