Norfolk man denies setting fire to his family business
PUBLISHED: 17:48 28 July 2014 | UPDATED: 17:48 28 July 2014
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A Norfolk man accused of setting fire to his £1 million family business told police he had nothing to do with starting the blaze and said the alarm system had repeatedly played up for some time before the fire.
Justin Hindry, 41, of Manor Farm Close, Drayton, told police in interview, that he had not started the blaze at Aylsham Bathroom and Kitchen Centre, in Burgh Road, Aylsham, and claimed he had been “kept completely in the dark” by the loss adjusters.
Hindry has denied two counts of arson and fraud charges, The charges relate to the bathroom and kitchen centre and also a fire at a static caravan at the Haven Seashore Holiday Park, in Great Yarmouth.
The prosecution, at Norwich Crown Court, have alleged that in both cases alarm systems had been switched off before the fires.
In police interviews, which were read to the jury, Hindry told police he was a partner in the business and did all the day-to-day running.
He denied having anything to do with starting the fire and said he set the alarms before leaving the building, just after 5pm.
He could not explain how the alarm had been de-activated around 5.08pm and then re-activated at 5.26pm and said he did not know anyone who might have done such a thing.
However he said the alarm had been constantly playing up: “There has been major problems with it for a number of years.”
He said in the past weeks before the fire there had been a number false alarms” and said he was also “kept completely in the dark” by loss adjusters handling the claim.
He said: “I have been given no information.”
As well as his salary from the business, Hindry admitted he was a professional gambler, but denied he had any gambling debts.
He said he earned about £50,000 a year from his gambling and said he played mainly at casinos in the Great Yarmouth area.
He said : “I do not have any gambling debts.”
Hindry said he put £26,000 of his own money recently into the bathroom and kitchen business to help with cash flow.
When questioned about the fire at his static caravan at Great Yarmouth, Hindry also denied any involvement in starting the fire.
He said: “I can’t believe I am being questioned about this fire in the caravan.”
He said that he had “cut his losses” and taken the insurance cash he was offered, as he hardly used the caravan.
Hindry said in the past he had paid a lot of money in insurance, but had not made any claims.
The trial continues.