Dad torched Brean caravan after being offered 'derisory' sum (From Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News)
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Dad torched Brean caravan after being offered 'derisory' sum
11:30am Friday 10th August 2012 in News
A FATHER who torched his static caravan to the ground at a Brean holiday park has been spared prison.
Paul Miles, 38, burnt his caravan down at Unity Farm Holiday Centre, on Coast Road, after its 15-year lease ran out because he was offered a ‘derisory’ sum for it.
He admitted ‘simple’ arson at Taunton Crown Court last week on the day his trial was meant to begin.
He was given an 18-month community order and was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work.
The court heard how Miles, a single father from Knowle in Bristol, deliberately dropped a cigarette end in the caravan on October 30 last year with the intention of setting it ablaze, but there was no intent to endanger life, the judge said.
It was said that he started the fire after park owners offered him just £50 for his caravan after his lease was up.
Some sites give caravans a life of 15 years, and afterwards the owner can sell it to the park or move it elsewhere.
Patrick Mason, defending, said: “He is 38 and has a good job which he plans to go back to when this case finishes.
“He is a single father with his five-year-old son living with him who he cares for.”
Sentencing Miles, Recorder Frank Abbott added: “You admitted ‘simple’ arson, which is not as serious as endangering life. I do not think this was ever really a likely result.
“They offered what you believe to be a derisory sum for your caravan. The unpaid work will be a burden to you, I know.”