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 joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.