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Man accused of organising arson attack on former Yarmouth workplace borrowed £15,000 from the firm, court hears

PUBLISHED: 09:57 23 June 2017

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Picture: Adrian Judd.

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A disgruntled employee accused of being behind an arson attack at his former workplace was dismissed after he borrowed £15,000, a court has heard.

Ricky Turner, 57, who formerly worked for SPX Ltd in Great Yarmouth, is alleged to have put up Aaron Cockrell to carry out the arson which caused £250,000 worth of damage and about £600,000 of losses to the company.

Norwich Crown Court has been told by prosecutors that Turner was behind the attack as he was angry at being dismissed by the company after many years of service.

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

The jury of seven women and four men heard a police interview with Turner in April 2015 during which the defendant said he had worked for the Swanston Road-based company since 1990.

Turner told police that during his employment he borrowed money from the company but always paid it back.

He said: “It was never a problem.”

But the interview heard Turner was suspended, and later dismissed, after he borrowed £15,000 which he insisted he had paid back within three months.

Turner said he felt upset at being dismissed after 24 years’ service.

But when asked by the interviewing officer if he had any involvement in this arson, Turner said “no”.

When asked if he had put anyone else up to carry out the arson he also said “no”.

The court has heard from Richard Kelly, prosecuting, who said that Turner, who had knowledge of the company and the layout, 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.

The jury has been told Cockrell, 41, of Yarmouth Road, Ormesby St Margaret, has already pleaded guilty to arson and will be sentenced at a later date.

The trial continues.

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