Colchester arson accused chooses not to give evidence during trial

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: SIMON PARKER - Credit: Archant

A Colchester man accused of starting fires at two flats in which a cat, a chinchilla and some birds died has chosen not to give evidence during his trial.

Before Ipswich Crown Court is David Grothier, 49, of Chinook, Colchester, who has denied arson and attempted arson with intent to endanger life, and arson and attempted arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.

He is alleged to have set fire to flats occupied by Catherine Purchases and her son Jack Hymus in Gazelle Court, in Highwoods, Colchester, on March 26 this year killing a number of pets.

The court has heard the fire failed to take hold in Ms Purchases’ flat but her son’s home was badly affected and the pets died.

Giving evidence David Bates, who was at Grothier’s flat on March 26, claimed he heard Grothier threaten to start a fire at a flat occupied by a woman he had fallen out with, and then saw him go out with lighter fluid and two pieces of wood with tea towels taped to them.

The trial continues.

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