Heartache for arson victim

PUBLISHED: 09:01 02 February 2009 | UPDATED: 12:27 17 June 2010

The fire was captured on camera by village resident Peter Adey

The fire was captured on camera by village resident Peter Adey

THIS car was a Newton Poppleford man s only means of visiting his sick wife in hospital. Emergency services were called to the green Ford Escort in the car park off School Lane at 5am last Saturday after reports that it was ablaze. By the time they arrive

GUTTED: The remains of the Ford Escort Ref: P1312-05-09AW

THIS car was a Newton Poppleford man's only means of visiting his sick wife in hospital.

Emergency services were called to the green Ford Escort in the car park off School Lane at 5am last Saturday after reports that it was ablaze.

By the time they arrived the fire had spread to a Citylink van parked nearby and despite firefighters best efforts, both vehicles were completely gutted in the suspected arson attack.

The local man, who does not want to be identified, had parked his car at 7.30pm on Friday, January 23 and was first alerted to the blaze by a neighbour in the early hours of the morning on Saturday, January 24.

Sergeant Andy Turner, of Sidmouth Police, said: "The man is extremely upset that his car has been targeted in this way. It has caused him considerable upset as his wife is currently in hospital seriously ill and his vehicle was his only means of visiting her.

"There were a number of items in the vehicle of personal value to him which now need to be replaced.

"This is a despicable crime which has robbed a popular member of the community of his means of visiting his wife in hospital. It has caused considerable hardship to him and his family in the last few days as well as adding to their stress."

Officers have carried out door-to-door enquiries and are following a number of lines of enquiry but no arrests have yet been made.

Forensic tests were carried out on the two vehicles but at the time of going to print the police were unable to say if anything had been found.

Police believe the car was moved a short distance before being set alight and are urging any witnesses to come forward.

Sergeant Turner added: "I would appeal to anybody with information to contact Sidmouth Police. Without the help of the residents of Newton Poppleford it is unlikely we will catch the people responsible.

"We are particularly keen to speak to anybody who walked through the car park in the early hours of the morning to eliminate them from our enquiries."

Anyone with information should ring PC Dave Wallace on 08452 777444 quoting crime reference number KS/09/43 and KS/09/44.

Alternatively ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


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