Arsonist went on 'campaign of destruction' in Bradley Stoke and Stoke Gifford

  • Watch dozens of vehicles burn after arson attack

A man who caused hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage to vehicles in a series of arson attacks in South Gloucestershire has been jailed.

Daniel Cron, 26, from Filton, was sentenced to three years in prison at Bristol Crown Court yesterday (11 January), after pleading guilty to 21 counts of arson.

Cron was with a man who has not yet been identified when he set fire to the vehicles in Bradley Stoke and Stoke Gifford in the early hours of 3 April last year.

Some of those vehicles belonged to charities supporting vulnerable members of the community. The fires caused more than £320,000 of damage.

  • Footage shows dozens of burnt-out vehicles after attack

On the morning of the attacks, it was reported that around 40 vehicles were set alight - including 20 from a Rolls Royce facility.

People living near the site in Filton, South Gloucestershire, said they were woken by loud bangs and could see a huge fire.

Another 20 vehicles were then set on fire in the area in the early hours of the morning.

During the sentencing at Bristol Crown Court, Judge Martin Picton described Cron's actions as a "wanton campaign of destruction".

He told him: "I don't know what possessed you and the other person that night to go and do this.

"It is staggering, frankly, that you set fire to vehicles in such a determined, methodical way.

"There has to be a sentence that reflects the serious nature of the offences you committed that night, so society understands a price is paid for doing the wrong thing."

Derek Perry, defending Cron, told the court his client has learning difficulties and a complex personality.

Mr Perry added Cron had set fire to a van used by people with special educational needs.

A map of the series of attacks which took place in the Stoke Gifford area Credit: Avon and Somerset Police / Google Maps

He added there was no intention to harm anyone, but agreed nothing could justify what his client did.

Inspector Steve Davey, of Operation Remedy, said: “Cron has never offered any explanation for his actions and it was only by sheer luck that nobody was seriously injured or killed.

“While no one was hurt, vulnerable members of the community lost a vital transport resource while the community group which owned the minibuses along with other motorists suffered a significant financial hit and the inconvenience of replacing their vehicles.”

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