Bruce Lee appeal over 26 arson deaths in Hull

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Bruce Lee (now known as Peter Tredget)Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Bruce Lee (now known as Peter Tedget) pleaded guilty to 26 counts of manslaughter

A man who was detained for life after admitting responsibility for 26 deaths in arson attacks in the 1970s is to have his case reviewed.

Peter Tredget (then known as Bruce Lee) pleaded guilty to 11 arsons and 26 related manslaughters on the basis of diminished responsibility.

The charges related to 11 fires in and around Hull, East Yorkshire

The Criminal Cases Review Commission (CCRC) said it had referred the convictions to the Court of Appeal.

In January 1981, Mr Tredget was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court to detention without limit of time in a secure mental hospital.

The prosecution case was he had set the fires in and around the city between June 1973 and December 1979.

Investigations and inquests had concluded all but a fatal fire at Selby Street, Hull, had started accidentally.

Mr Tredget had initially confessed to starting the Selby Street fire and then went on to confess to starting ten other fires causing death and serious injury.

He also confessed to starting another 14 non-fatal fires but was not prosecuted for those.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
One of the fires was at Wensley Lodge in 1977

The Court of Appeal upheld most of his convictions but quashed one count of arson and 11 counts of manslaughter in 1983.

That was a fire at Wensley Lodge old people's home in Hessle, near Hull, in 1977.

Mr Tredget applied to the CCRC in 2011 and it conducted an investigation into the remaining convictions.

It has decided to refer the case for appeal because it believes new evidence identified during its investigation raises a real possibility the Court of Appeal will quash the convictions, said the CCRC.

Expert evidence relating to the truth of Mr Tredget's confessions has been obtained, along with new evidence over the cause of the fires and non-compliance with the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.

The CCRC is the public body responsible for investigating alleged miscarriages of criminal justice in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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