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62-year-old Kenneth Fowler (pictured), of no fixed address, destroyed thousands of pounds worth of clothing which had been donated by the public when he set fire to a shed behind Wesley Methodist Church in Harrogate.
Last week, a judge at York Crown Court jailed him for 16 months.
Emergency services were called to the church at approx. 5am am on 11 August 2018 following reports of a blaze. As fire spread through the shed, Harrogate Borough Council CCTV operatives identified a person matching Fowler’s description as a potential suspect.
He was arrested nearby but refused to comment on a number of questions during police interviews.
When the case reached court, Fowler pleaded guilty to the charges of arson and criminal damage.
Speaking after the hearing, Detective Constable Matthew Reeve who led the investigation by Harrogate Investigation Hub for North Yorkshire Police said:
Fowler has launched an unmotivated attack on a charity working to help homeless people in the Harrogate area.
He destroyed thousands of pounds worth of clothing donated by the public and caused cost and distress to the staff of the charity.
Thankfully, we were able to identify and track down this offender very quickly and the conviction is obtained in no small part by the teamwork of the Harrogate Investigation Hub, Response officers and excellent partnership with colleagues at the council who manage the town’s CCTV network.