A judge has said it was “sheer stupidity” that led two workers at a Cycle King shop in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk to try and cremate a mouse, leading to a fire that burnt the premises down, causing £1.6 million damage.
Ashley Finley, 25 and from Elmswell and Dysney Sibbons, 23 ad of Stowmarket, both pleaded guilty at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday to arson, being reckless as to whether any property would be destroyed or damaged, reports the East Anglian Daily Times.
Besides the shop, neighbouring buildings on Angel Hill were also damaged by the fire, which broke out at around 5pm on 29 September 2017.
It took 60 firefighters, some from neighbouring towns, to bring the blaze under control, with the building needing to be demolished afterwards.
Judge David Pugh said: "I am satisfied from reading the papers in this case that it was an act of sheer stupidity by these two defendants, particularly because of the location of where they were planning to amuse themselves to alleviate a boring day by cremating a mouse.”
Finley and Sibbons have been bailed pending sentencing, which is due to take place next month.
Cycle King, which trades from 18 stores in south-east England as well as five shops trading as Hawk Cycles in the West Midlands, has since reopened its Bury St Edmunds branch elsewhere in the town.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.