Stoke & Staffordshire

Stoke hospital fire: Man charged with patient manslaughter

The hospital Image copyright Paul Bradbury
Image caption The fire at the hospital led to the evacuation of hundreds of patients

A man accused of an arson attack on a hospital has been charged with the manslaughter of an elderly patient who died following the fire.

Thomas Ashcroft, 39, is alleged to have set fire to Royal Stoke University Hospital and a Staffordshire University accommodation building on 7 June.

He has now been charged with the manslaughter of May Maxfield, 89, Stafford Crown Court heard.

Mr Ashcroft was remanded in custody until a further hearing in September.

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The fire at the hospital was declared a major incident and led to the evacuation of hundreds of patients.

Mr Ashcroft, of Musgrave Crescent, Shirecliffe, Sheffield, appeared in court via video-link from HMP Dovegate, near Uttoxeter.

Prosecutor Patrick Sullivan told Judge Michael Chambers QC the Crown alleged a connection between the hospital fire and pensioner's death.

As well as manslaughter, Mr Ashcroft faces two charges of arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered, relating to the hospital and university's Beacon Building.

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