Glasgow & West Scotland

Two teenagers convicted of Boots store blaze in Kilmarnock

Two teenagers have been convicted of starting a fire that caused serious damage to a Boots store in Kilmarnock.

Declan Steele, 18, and a 17-year-old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied igniting waste paper outside the store in July 2015.

They were found guilty of wilful fire-raising following a trial at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court.

Sentence on both teenagers, from Kilmarnock, was deferred and they were remanded in custody.

CCTV evidence

The court heard that the teenagers were seen on CCTV wandering the streets before targeting the store.

They climbed onto the roof from the rear of the building then dropped down into a loading bay and set fire to waste paper.

The pair then sprinted away and hid in bushes to watch the fire take hold before returning to their homeless hostel in the town.

The blaze was tackled by 22 firefighters, some of whom had to crawl through the building to search for potential victims.

Police checked CCTV and detained three suspects that night.

A third accused, aged 17, was originally charged with the offence but did not appear in the dock.

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