Multiple arsonist torched rubbish near shopping centre

The Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

Mark Martindale in court over setting fire to rubbish at Market Gates shopping centre Great Yarmouth - Credit: Archant

A man with 29 arson attacks on his record set fire to rubbish at Market Gates shopping centre in Great Yarmouth. 

Mark Martindale, 36, of Swaffham Road, Wendling, admitted arson on August 26 last year, when he set fire to rubbish behind a store at the shopping centre.

Norwich Crown Court heard that Martindale had 29 previous matters for arson all of a similar nature with many being started after Martindale had been drinking alcohol.

Martindale was due for sentence at Norwich Crown Court on Friday, but Judge Andrew Shaw adjourned the case so he could look at a range of measures to be put in place to ensure a close eye is kept on Martindale at all times to prevent further offending.

He told Martindale:  "It is going to need your co-operation. You have got to understand how serious this is."

Judge Shaw said he would be looking at making Martindale subject to a number of orders and being tagged as well as being having an exclusion order imposed on him. 

He is also wanting to make Martindale subject to a Criminal Behaviour Order.

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Judge Shaw added: "I want him regularly supervised for a long time."

He said that he also wanted to see some support in place for Martindale.

Judge Shaw adjourned the case until April 23, when there will be a further probation report available for the sentencing hearing.

Ian James, for Martindale, said that a psychiatrist's report showed that Martindale had no intention to harm anyone.

Mr James said: "He is more of a nuisance than a danger. He has never harmed anybody."

He said that Martindale often started a fire just to get arrested.

Mr James said: "He does these things just to get arrested in moments of trauma."

He said the best way forward was for there to a constructive intervention which also safeguarded the public.

He said that alcohol was a factor and that Martindale needed intervention to help with his behaviour.  

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