Man denies part in trailer arson attack

A SUFFOLK man has denied starting a fire which caused almost �400,000 damage at a plastic recycling factory in Brandon.

David Allison is alleged to have been one of three men who used lighters to ignite waste plastic at the rear of a lorry trailer parked outside Chase Plastics on the Brandon Industrial Estate on February 20 last year.

The blaze spread to the recycling plant which was badly damaged causing a total of �394,564 damage, Ipswich Crown court has heard.

Allison, 20, of Peppers Close, Weeting, has denied two offences of arson, one involving the lorry trailer and the other involving the factory building.

The court has heard that two other people had admitted the offences.

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Giving evidence yesterday, Allison said that on the night of the alleged arson attack he and two other young men had been passengers in a car driven by a friend.

The driver had decided to go to the industrial estate and when they got there he claimed the driver had pointed out the lorry trailer and suggested looking in it to see if there was anything to burn.

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Allison said that at the time he was on bail for setting light to some bales of straw and had told his friend “not to be so silly”.

“I didn’t want to get into any more trouble,” Allison said.

He said he had got out of the car to go to the toilet and had then gone to the back of the trailer where he saw the car driver and one of the other passengers setting light to plastic packaging with cigarette lighters.

Allison denied that he had pointed out the trailer and that he had helped set light to the packaging.

He said he didn’t know why he hadn’t tried to put out the fire or run away. “I didn’t think at the time,” he said.

Allison told the court that he had pleaded guilty to setting light to the straw bales, but said he had pleaded not guilty to the arson at Chase Plastics because he hadn’t done it.

Cross-examined by prosecution counsel Lori Tucker, Allison denied that he “liked the sight of blue lights and the sound of sirens”.

Asked: “Is that what it’s all about?” Allison replied: “No.”

The trial continues today.

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