Arson teen given a year sentence

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A TEENAGER who was involved in starting a fire at a plastics fire which caused £400,000 of damage will spend a year at a Young Offenders Institution.

Benjamin Dack, 19, told Ipswich Crown Court last Thursday that while he was present at the scene of the blaze, he had not started it.

Dack, formerly of Glebe Road, Weeting and now of Lynn Road, Fincham, was accused of arson in relation to a fire which ripped through Chase Plastics in London Road, Brandon on February 20.

Judge John Devaux also heard from Ben Cowen, 18, who said he had seen Dack and two others use cigarette lighters to start the fire.

Mr Cowen claimed that Dack had threatened him with violence if he gave testimony.

He said the fire took hold quickly and that Dack had taken the group in his car to higher ground at Hockwold so they could watch the scene unfold.

After starting in a lorry trailer loaded with waste plastics, the fire spread to an industrial unit owned by Chase Plastics. The fire caused extensive damage to the unit.

Dack maintained that he was at the scene and had fled with the other men, but denied the allegation of starting the fire and of making threats towards Mr Cowen.

Judge Devaux said he was satisfied that Dack had been actively involved in starting the fire when sentencing.

In April, 20-year-old David Allison from Peppers Close, Weeting, was sentenced to two years in a Young Offenders Institution in relation to the same event.