Man to stand trial next year after 14th century pub the Star Inn devastated by fire

Charles Birkett, 28, appeared at York Crown Court on Monday, 18 September. Credit: PA

A man will stand trial next year after a fire caused more than £2million of damage to a well-known Michelin-starred restaurant.

The fire ripped through the Star Inn, a 14th Century pub in Harome in North Yorkshire, on 24 November, 2021.

Charles Birkett, 28, from Helmsley, appeared at York Crown Court on Monday, 18 September. He was not asked to enter a plea.

The Recorder of York Judge Sean Morris set a provisional trial date of 1 July.

Mr Birkett is charged with arson with recklessness as to whether property would be destroyed or life endangered.

A further hearing will be held on February 19, when, the court heard, there will be an application to dismiss the charges.

Birkett was granted unconditional bail until his next appearance at court.

Nine fire crews battled for hours to bring the blaze at the pub under control, with the building's 4ft-deep straw roof catching fire.

The Star Inn reopened to customers in November 2022, exactly a year since the fire.

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