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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Eight years for arsonists who torched Dalton beach kiosk for thrills

FOUR young people who carried out an arson attack that destroyed an ice cream kiosk have been put behind bars for a total of eight years.

Damage estimated to have cost up to £40,000 was caused when the timber structure at Roanhead, Barrow, was set on fire.

A court heard that those responsible had been bored and were looking for thrills when they carried out the crime.

However, yesterday they wept as they were each sentenced to two years in custody.

The four defendants appearing at Preston Crown Court for sentence were: Colin Rigg, 21, of Tyne Road, Walney; Megan Rose, 19, of Park Avenue, Barrow; Roscoe Cowsill, 21, from Parker Street, Barrow; and Callum Teare, 18, of Raleigh Street, Barrow.

All admitted a charge of arson.

Owner Susan Dargavel had run the ice cream kiosk to supplement her pension, the court heard.

Because of its construction type, she could not get insurance cover and her business was now over.

Mrs Dargavel was woken at around 4am on August 21 by the sound of a vehicle. On looking out of the window of her home near the kiosk, she saw flames.

Mrs Karen Brooks, prosecuting, said after setting fire to the hut, the four left the scene without making any attempt to contact the fire brigade.

Teare had poured petrol from a can through an air vent into the kiosk. Cowsill then lit the fire. The defendants had apparently gone back to the scene when the fire engines arrived, but left soon afterwards.

Lawyers for the four described what took place as juvenile delinquency. The fire attack would not have occurred had each been alone and all were very sorry for their actions, they said.

Mr Richard Bennett, defending Rose, said she was not the instigator but had been part of the pre-planning. She described her actions as “utter stupidity”.

Since the age of 14 or 15, she had had a history of psychiatric problems, said Mr Bennett.

Mr Tom Lord, for Teare, said he was the youngest of the four and was petrified at the prospect of being sent into custody.

Mr Duncan Nightingale, for Cowsill, called what happened vandalism at the highest level.

Mr James Heyworth, for Rigg, said he had involved himself in the wanton destruction of property which meant nothing to them, but everything to the victim.

In passing sentence, Judge Christopher Cornwall told the four: “It doesn’t matter whose idea it was or who played which role. You are each of you equally responsible. “You decided to burn something for fun, because you were bored, thrill seeking in order to alleviate the terrible boredom of everyday existence, which for some of you, involved sleeping in the day and driving around Cumbria in a senseless manner at night.

“Mrs Dargavel says she has not only lost a source of income. She has lost part of her life and so too have members of the public.”

Josh Lister, chairman of The Friends of Roanhead Ice Cream Shop, which has been set up to raise money to restore the shop, said the sentences should have been longer.

He said: “Considering that they’ve affected livelihoods and made other people’s visits to Barrow somewhat worse due to the lack of this place, I think it’s nowhere near enough at all.”

Have your say

These people should be made to do community service. The money saved from not sending them to prison should be put in to rebuilding the lady's business not wasted on incarceration that makes people worse.

Posted by Peter Wood on 12 June 2013 at 01:18

Speaking as the cousin of one of the parents - believe me, they DO care; they are utterly devastated. As a family, we have been torn apart by what has happened. It is horrible having to read nasty comments about your own flesh and blood - whatever the circumstances. We are very sorry for Mrs Dargavel and to everyone who has been affected by this.

Posted by Karen on 9 May 2013 at 17:44

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