Devon

Pontins holiday camp arsonist given suspended sentence

Brixham fire (Pic: Ian Calow) Image copyright Ian Calow
Image caption The fire caused a plume of smoke to rise over Brixham

A man who set fire to a derelict holiday park "for fun" has been sentenced.

The blaze at the former Pontins resort at Brixham destroyed the 42-acre site in June 2014.

Rick Edwards, of Higher Green, South Brent, was given a 12-month jail term suspended for two years at Exeter Crown Court.

The 20-year-old was also given a year's supervision order to prevent further offending.

Prosecutor Gordon Richings said Edwards had lit a small piece of wallpaper and the flames had rapidly got out of control. He admitted in interview he started the blaze "for fun".

"A report on the fire indicated the arcade area had been completely demolished and the pool area and former ballroom were also damaged," he said.

Kevin Hopper, for the defendant, said his client had never intended to cause such a serious incident.

Mr Richings said the fire increased the final cost of demolition because it made it more difficult to isolate and remove asbestos.

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