A teenager whose fingerprints were found at the scene of a £100,000 arson attack on a children’s nursery has been sentenced to 27 months in a young offenders’ institution.
Lincoln Crown Court heard Jamie Moxon, 19, was not present during two arson attacks on the Little Lambs nursery in Corringham Road, Gainsborough.
But Moxon, who was just 17 at the time, knew the offenders had taken lemonade bottles used in the attacks from his home.
The court heard damage estimated at £107,000 was caused to the nursery during the second fire which left the under insured owners £30,000 out of pocket.
Mark Knowles, prosecuting, told the court Little Lambs was a popular and successful nursery which had been built up over 20 years by dedicated owners. But over three days it was subjected to two deliberate arson attacks for which the owners could find no motive.
Police were alerted by a fire alarm and neighbours, who noticed a suspicious group of young men in the area, found a strong smell of accelerant after the first blaze was set.
Mr Knowles said the fire did not set but investigators found a number of plastic bottles containing flammable liquid at the scene and DNA matching three people.
Two days later a second fire caused substantial damage. The nursery was shut for three months as the owners had to find £30,000 to reopen the business.
A finger and palm print matching Moxon was found on a lemonade bottle at the scene of entry during the second fire. Police found four bottles of the same brand when they searched Moxon’s home.
Moxon, of Earlesmere Avenue, Doncaster, later admitted knowing the bottles had been taken from his home but denied being present when the fires were set. He pleaded guilty to two charges of arson on 9th and 11th December.
Judge Michael Heath told Moxon he knew the bottles had been taken from his home and did nothing to stop it.
“On the second occasion there was damage of £107,000 caused to the premises,” he said.
“There was not only the financial loss, but the emotional consequences to the owner who was under insured, for the staff who enjoyed working there and the children who looked forward to going there.”