Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 14°C

ESTD 1874 Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Hollesley/Great Yarmouth: Minister to ask questions over fugitive arsonist who struck again

10:08 14 December 2012

Edward MacDonald

Edward MacDonald

Archant

A GOVERNMENT minister is to take up the case of arsonist Edward Macdonald who tried to set light to a man’s flat after absconding from Hollesley Bay open prison.

As reported in Wednesday’s East Anglian Daily Times, Macdonald - who was described as “likely to be very dangerous” when he was sentenced to life imprisonment for arson in 1996 - had been assessed as minimal risk before he was allowed out on work placement in Ipswich.

However, he was recaptured three months later after attempting to set light to a shop with an occupied flat above it in Great Yarmouth.

Macdonald has now been sentenced to an indeterminate prison sentence to run concurrently with his life term.

Now, Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth and a junior minister for local government, has said he will be contacting the Prison Service about the decision to let Macdonald out on work placement.

Mr Lewis said: “I am aware of Mr Macdonald’s situation and will be writing to the Prison Service to ask for their advice on the matter.”

His Conservative colleague Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey said she did not wish to make any comment about Hollesley Bay’s decision to grant Macdonald work release, or get involved in his case.

Macdonald pleaded guilty to arson with intent to endanger life and arson, when he appeared before Norwich Crown Court last Friday.

He went on the run on June 28 after 16 years in jail for arson with intent to endanger life after attempting to start a blaze at a block of flats in Eastbourne.

Three months later Macdonald tried to burn down Crown Stores in Crown Road and the flat above it.

A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “Only prisoners representing minimal risk of escape and harm to the public are eligible for release on temporary licence.”

“Prisoners may be released on temporary licence providing they meet strict criteria and pass a rigorous risk assessment.”

Macdonald was arrested after setting light to cardboard left near a dustbin outside Crown Stores just before 9pm on September 16.

A man in his 60s was in the flat above the store at the time, but was uninjured.

Macdonald subsequently set light to bushes near the Amazonia World of Reptiles in Marine Parade.

When he was jailed at Lewes Crown Court in July 1996, Judge Richard Brown said: “The medical reports indicate to me that if you are at liberty you are likely to be very dangerous and put other people’s lives at risk. ”

Related articles

0 comments

South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge is backing Theresa May as the new Tory leader - and Prime Minister.

As campaigning starts in the race to become the next leader of the Conservative Party – and Prime Minister – MPs in Suffolk are assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the candidates.

Lucy and Sophie Earthroll. Photo: Stephanie Mackentyre.

A Felixstowe mum has spoken of the “absolutely horrible” moment she feared her teenage daughter might have been a victim of the Istanbul airport terrorist attack.

Peter and Sylvia Stuart

The arrested son-in-law of murdered Weybread couple Peter and Sylvia Stuart now faces no further action, police have confirmed.

One of the vintage cars to appear at Heveningham Hall's inaugural Concours d’Elegance

A Suffolk estate has announced a “spectacular” line-up of classic cars to appear at its popular country fair.

Ben Hayford will be appearing on Alan Titchamrsh's Love Your Garden on Tuesday, July 5. Ben is pictured at his home in Stowmarket.

A Suffolk tree surgeon may become something of a TV personality after being invited back on to a primetime series.

Stock image of the A12.

A woman has been seriously injured after a collision between a Ford Fiesta and a lorry on the A12 northbound today (June 29).

Stock image.

A missing man from Woolpit has been found “safe and well”, police have said.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24