Former employee jailed for setting fire to Southend nightclub

Credit: Essex police

An arsonist has been jailed for setting fire to a nightclub in Southend where he used to work.

Duncan Hughes entered through the cellar trapdoor of The Basement nightclub in Alexandra Street on an October morning last year.

He poured bleach over the DJ equipment and set bins alight. Bottles of spirits were smashed and lit tissue paper was put in the tills.

A large fire was also lit in the cellar, causing major damage to pumps, ice machines and stock.

The damage to the nightclub cost almost £350,000.

Hughes was identified from CCTV images Credit: Essex Police

Hughes, 24, of Southchurch Road, Southend, was identified from CCTV images and clothing worn at the time was found in his home.

He had been a manager at The Basement three months previously, when his employment was terminated.

He pleaded guilty to a charge of arson at Basildon Crown Court and was sentenced to four years in jail.