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Disgruntled employee hatched arson plan on former workplace in Great Yarmouth, jury told

PUBLISHED: 16:40 19 June 2017 | UPDATED: 16:40 19 June 2017

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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A disgruntled employee hatched a plan to burn down his former workplace causing £600,000 in damage and loss of business, a court heard.

Ricky Turner, 57, who formerly worked for SPX Ltd, which is based in Swanston Road, Great Yarmouth, is alleged to have put up Aaron Cockrell to carry out the arson attack as he was angry for being dismissed by the company after many years of service, a Norwich Crown Court jury was told.

Turner, of Lawn Avenue, Great Yarmouth, has denied being involved in the arson attack on SPX between February 12 and February 15, in 2015.

Richard Kelly, prosecuting, said Turner had “hatched the plan” for the arson attack using his inside knowledge of the company and its offices but had recruited Cockrell to actually set the fire at the commercial premises of SPX.

Mr Kelly said: “Turner did not want to do the dirty work himself. He recruited the services of Aaron Cockrell to do it for him, but it did require some involvement from this defendant. He was able to use the knowledge he had over the many years of employment at the company.”

Mr Kelly said Turner was upset with SPX because they had dismissed him after many years of employment and he had also tried to take them to an employment tribunal, but it had ruled against him.

Mr Kelly said Turner had crept into the offices while the cleaner was in the building and turned off the alarm system, before leaving a door unbolted.

He said Cockrell then let himself in during the early hours through the door left insecure by Turner and a fire was started.

Mr Kelly said that luckily a taxi driver was passing as the fire began and he raised the alarm.

Mr Kelly said the blaze was tackled but caused £250,000 worth of damage and a total losses caused to the company of about £600,000.

The trial continues.

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