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Man admits setting fire to council offices

The South Oxfordshire District Council offices were damaged Credit: ITV Meridian
Andrew Main (R) pleaded guilty to four counts of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered. Credit: INS News Agency

A man who set fire to a number of buildings in Oxfordshire, including a council office HQ, a funeral parlour and two houses has admitted four charges against him.

Andrew Main pleaded guilty to four counts of arson reckless as to whether life was endangered but denied one count of arson with intent to endanger life after a psychiatric report concluded he was suffering from temporary psychosis at the time.

Judge Ian Pringle QC said: "I can see no harm in it being reported that your client was responsible for setting these fires."

The South Oxfordshire District Council building, Howard Chadwick Funeral Service, and a thatched cottage were all damaged when they were set alight in January.


Man due in court over series of fires

These council offices was one of three buildings destroyed by fire Credit: ITV Meridian

A man is due in court charged in connection with a series of fires in Oxfordshire.

One of the most severe was at council officers in Crowmarsh Gifford.

One of the charges Andrew Main, who forty seven and from Roke in Wallingford, faces is two counts of arson with intent to endanger life.

This thatched cottage was one of three buildings destroyed by fire Credit: ITV Meridian
  1. Tom Savvides

Arson attacks under the spotlight

The work of a new team of forensic scientists in the south east could help uncover whether a fire has been started deliberately. The University of Kent at Canterbury has set up a fire investigation unit to examine suspicious substsances and liquids found at the scene of a blaze. Tom Savvides talks to Emma Wilson from the company Prometheus and Bob Green from the University of Kent

Justice at last for children who died in arson attack

The Khan family outside Oxford Crown Court

The family of two children killed in an arson attack on their Oxford home have spoken for the first time.

Anum Khan, 8 and her brother Majid, 15, died after petrol was squirted through the letterbox of their family home and set alight.

In a statement released by police today, the family said: “Mr and Mrs Khan would first of all like to thank Allah for this day and the police force involved in the arrest of Fiaz Munshi.

The mother of the children added: “As a mother of these beautiful innocent children I have been waiting for sixteen years for this day and I have not been able to visit my son and daughter, Majid and Anum, since they were innocently taken away from me.

“Once justice has been done I have promised myself I will visit Majid and Anum for the first time. This is a very emotional time for everybody so we please ask kindly for some privacy.”

Fiaz Munshi has been jailed for 13 years for the manslaughter of Majid and Anum, who died in a revenge arson attack on their Magdalen Road home in 1997.

Munshi, who is thirty eight, denied a charge of murder but a jury at Oxford Crown Court found her guilty of manslaughter.

Fiaz Munshi travelled with seven others to Amjad Khan's house after he broke off their relationship. Five men were convicted as was Ms Munshi's sister Riaz who was also convicted of manslaughter.



Teenager arrested after fire in block of derelict flats

Derelict flats set on on fire Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue

A 16 year-old has been arrested for arson after fire broke out in a block of derelict flats in Gosport.

Emergency services were called to Livingstone Court, Grange Road, Rowner, where smoke was seen coming from a derelict block of flats in the court, which is being demolished at the moment,

Firefighters at scene of suspected arson in Gosport Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue

Officers investigating the cause of the fire, which started in a third floor flat, have arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of arson; he has been released on bail.

Family flee arson attack: Police statement

Detective Constable Chris Hike, of Brighton CID, said: "This was a lucky escape for the family. Had they been asleep at the time the consequences could have been serious.

"Next to the house is a path linking Dorothy Road and Old Shoreham Road, and I would ask anyone who was in the area at around 10pm on Saturday or who has any information as to how the fire may have started to phone Sussex Police on 101 or email, quoting serial 1444 of 10/5.

"Alternatively they can call the independent charity Crimestoppers free and anonymously on 0800 555111."

Family including nine-month-baby flee home after arson attack

A family and their nine-month-old baby were forced to flee from their home after a suspected arson attack.

The blaze broke out in a plastic garden shed at a property standing at the junction of Dorothy Road and Old Shoreham Road in Hove at 10pm on Saturday.

It quickly engulfed a rear-facing kitchen window and realising the fire was too big to fight themselves, the occupants grabbed their baby from upstairs and got out through the front door.

A passing police patrol spotted the fire and radioed for the fire and rescue service to attend.

Fire crews quickly doused the fire before it could further damage the property, but the cause is being treated as suspicious and is now being investigated as possible arson.

Police investigate series of arsons

Police in Southampton are appealing for witnesses and information following a series of arson incidents in the Lordshill and Lordswood areas of Southampton.

Overnight from Friday into Saturday, the offender(s) appear to have taken a specific route from Lordswood Road towards Robina Green.

They set fire to a fence, a for sale board, a refuse bin, a canopy attached to a vehicle and a car wheel.

Police are investigating a series of arsons in Southampton Credit: ITV Meridian

The most serious incident involved a newspaper being set alight and efforts were made to try and post this through the letterbox of a flat where an elderly woman was inside. Fortunately the fire didn't take and no one was injured.

Detective Constable Jonny Hyland said: "We are particularly keen to speak to a person who is believed to have assisted two house occupants by knocking on their doors and telling them that their property was burning. We believe this person is a crucial eye witness."

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