York & North Yorkshire

Man jailed for killing jockeys in Malton flat fire

Peter Brown
Peter Brown chose not to give evidence at his trial

A man has been jailed for a minimum of seven-and-a-half years for killing two promising young jockeys in an arson attack in North Yorkshire.

Jamie Kyne, 18, from County Galway in the Irish Republic and Jan Wilson, 19, from Forfar in Angus, died in the fire at flats near Malton in September 2009.

Peter Brown, 37, of Brotherton, North Yorkshire, was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter this year.

He was given an indeterminate sentence by a judge at Leeds Crown Court.

The court heard that Brown started the fire in a drunken act of revenge after being refused entry to a party.

Passing sentence, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies said Brown had shown a lack of control when faced by rejection and still posed a significant risk to the public.

"As a result of your actions, two young people, aged 18 and 19, both of whom had embarked on promising careers in the field of horse racing, lost their lives," she told him.

'No remorse'

Det Ch Insp Alan Carey, who led the North Yorkshire Police investigation, said: "I am satisfied with the sentence in this extremely tragic case.

"Peter Brown has shown little or no remorse, let alone an admission of his guilt throughout the investigation and the subsequent trial.

"He chose not to give evidence, thereby refusing to be cross examined in relation to his actions on the night of the tragedy.

"The fact that he took this decision is of little comfort to Jan and Jamie's families who are still left wondering why the fire was started."

A court previously heard that Brown, a labourer originally from the Aberdeen area, started the fire when he lit rubbish in the communal entrance to the Buckrose Court flats on 5 September.

Victims trapped

He used white spirit to set light to rubbish in the stairwell after he returned from drinking in local pubs in the early hours.

Jamie Kyne and Jan Wilson
Jamie Kyne and Jan Wilson died in the fire in September 2009

The fire quickly took hold as the stairwell was said to have acted like a chimney, forcing many of the occupants to jump from the building or climb down drainpipes.

Miss Wilson and Mr Kyne were trapped in the top-floor flat and unable to escape.

Speaking after Brown was found guilty in May, Jan Hills, district Crown Prosecutor for CPS North Yorkshire, said his act of revenge "robbed" the jockeys' families of their loved ones and deprived the sporting world of two rising talents.

She said: "In setting fire to the block of flats, he cruelly snuffed out that youthful potential, all for the sake of a perceived slight after being refused entry to a party."

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