Sunderland man admits arson after cars destroyed in Crook street

Severe damage was caused to several cars and properties in Crook on 12 February. Credit: Viewer footage/ ITV News Tyne Tees

A man has pleaded guilty to setting fire to several cars in a County Durham town.

Durham Police said 10 cars and the windows of some houses on Milburn Street and Wilson Street in Crook suffered fire damage in the incident.

Residents reported being woken up by bangs and explosions after the fires broke out in the early hours.

Paul Reay, of Chepstow Street, Millfield, Sunderland, pleaded guilty to all 10 counts of arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered at Durham Crown Court on 20 March.

The case was adjourned to allow for reports to be completed.

Reay, 39, is due to appear at court again for sentencing on 19 May.

Neighbourhood Inspector Ed Turner said: “This was a deliberate and horrific incident that has affected not just the car owners and residents of the street but the surrounding community.

“The impact can not be underestimated so I am pleased that Reay has pleaded guilty and that there’s some element of resolution to this incident for the victims and local community which will hopefully now give them some peace of mind and help them start to move forward.”

Cars were completely destroyed in the fire Credit: Shaun Hope
The heat even damaged doors and windows nearby Credit: Shaun Hope

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