Cornwall

Bankrupt man set fire to removal van in St Dennis

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Media captionRemoval van on fire in St Dennis

A bankrupt man set fire to a removal van containing his own belongings in protest at having his property repossessed.

John Cartwright, from St Dennis, was given a suspended jail sentence having previously admitted arson at Truro Crown Court.

He did £35,000 worth of damage, telling the removal company, "If I can't have my stuff, then nobody can."

The judge said he had shown "not one jot of remorse".

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Cartwright 65, of Halimote Road, was having his property repossessed when he angrily poured petrol into the back of the van and set fire to it on 15 February.

The van, which belonged to removals company Movecorp, was written off at a loss of £34,874.

Image copyright www.movecorp.co.uk
Image caption The removal van was written off following the incident

The company had been instructed to remove all items from his house following a bankruptcy hearing.

Managing director James Tennant said: "We have little chance of recovery from Mr Cartwright due to his personal circumstances."

Image copyright www.movecorp.co.uk
Image caption Cartwright poured petrol in the back of the van and set it on fire

Sentencing him, Judge Simon Carr said: "This company were within their rights to take your possessions. They were simply doing their job.

"You have showed not one jot of remorse for what you did and the reports I have read give the impression of someone who would do it again. You see yourself as the victim."

Cartwright was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for two years, and given a three-month curfew.

He must also complete 120 hours of unpaid work and a 12-hour rehabilitation activity requirement.

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