Cumbria

Fire-starter Benjamin Taylor 'almost destroyed' rail firm

Benjamin Taylor Image copyright Cumbria Police
Image caption Benjamin Taylor denied starting any of the blazes

An arsonist who caused £600,000 worth of damage to a visitor attraction has been jailed for 10 years.

Benjamin Taylor, 24, of Seascale, was working at Cumbria's Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway when he started three blazes at the site.

The largest of the fires, in March, 2013, damaged an engineers' workshop.

The court heard he raised the alarm each time, claiming there was an innocent explanation. He was convicted of arson.

Carlisle Crown Court heard his conduct was said to have "almost destroyed" a business which is home to the famous La'al Ratty rail line.

Taylor denied starting the fires at the railway as well as two others at the Whitehaven home of his then girlfriend.

Judge Peter Hughes QC told Taylor he was guilty of "bizarre and dangerous behaviour".

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