Missing Northamptonshire arsonist Johnny Brady had burnt down Derbyshire schools and church

An arsonist who is on the run from a secure mental health unit had previously set fire to schools and a Grade I-listed church, causing millions of pounds worth of damage.

Johnny Brady, 19, disappeared from St Andrew’s Healthcare in Billing Road in Northampton at around 3.30pm on New Year's Eve.

Police have been urgent appealing to the public to help find the teenager, who is serving a hospital order following convictions for arson and serious assault.

Brady was 17 when he embarked on an arson spree around Derbyshire in October 2020, first setting fire to St Mary's Catholic School in Darley Abbey in Derby.

Two days later CCTV cameras caught him making his way to Ravensdale Infant School in Mickleover, the scene of his next attack.

Two months later he started a blaze at All Saints' Church in Mackworth, Derbyshire, a Grade I listed building.

In court Brady admitted seven arson attacks causing millions of pounds worth of damage.

St Mary's Catholic School in Darley Abbey, Derby, burnt down in October 2020. Credit: Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service

Since Brady absconded from hospital, officers have said they are investigating three separate incidents of arson to bags of rubbish close to the facility.

Police are urging the public not to approach Brady, but to report any sightings by calling 999.

Det Supt Richard Tompkins said officers were looking for Brady, but "with no confirmed sightings, we are becoming increasingly concerned".

“Johnny is serving a hospital order for convictions relating to arson and serious assault, which is why it is very important that the public do not approach him under any circumstances but should call 999 immediately.

“We are investigating three separate incidents of arson to bags of rubbish, which occurred overnight, in areas within a couple of miles of the hospital grounds which may be linked to Johnny.

“Arson has potentially fatal consequences and we therefore ask the public to be extra vigilant within their local communities. If you see anyone acting suspiciously near property or deliberately starting fires to items such as bins, please call us immediately on 999.”

Brady is described as white, about 5ft 9ins tall and of a slim build.

He was last seen wearing black Adidas tracksuit bottoms, a black hoodie, and black coloured trainers.

Police are urging people not to approach Brady but to call 999. Credit: Northamptonshire Police

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