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Costessey businessman hits out at 'mindless' arson attack

PUBLISHED: 09:58 10 August 2012

Marcus Ashby, owner of MJ Ashby who has lost patterns to make reproduction furniture, along with the building they were stored in after arsonists torched cars in the compound adjacent.photo: Steve Adams

Marcus Ashby, owner of MJ Ashby who has lost patterns to make reproduction furniture, along with the building they were stored in after arsonists torched cars in the compound adjacent.photo: Steve Adams

The owner of a business in Costessey that suffered thousands of pounds worth of damage as a result of arsonists has condemned the "mindless" actions of those responsible.

Arsonists torched cars on the Horizon Works industrial estate off Dereham Road, close to the Total garage, in the early hours of Monday morning.

But flames from a red Toyota MR2, which was set alight at about 1.30am, soon spread to a nearby Chrysler Neon and them to a shed used by MJ Ashby Cabinet Makers as a patent store for repeat orders, destroying several pieces of woodwork.

Marcus Ashby, owner of the business which was set up in 1988, estimates the blaze will cost the firm somewhere in the region of £3,000 in terms of damage caused and the cost of updating security, including CCTV.

He said: “It’s quite a blow really. We will get over it but its just another bit of aggravation we don’t need when times are tough.

“It’s just a little bit mindless and a problem that didn’t have to happen. If you decide to go and burn a car you’re going to give someone a problem.

“I don’t think they intended to set fire to the store – it just happened to be beside the cars – but it could have been very dangerous as it was near to a petrol station.

“If they had thought a little bit and looked around they might have thought it could be dangerous to people’s lives.”

Mr Ashby, 47, a father-of-two, said he wanted whoever was responsible for the arson to think about their actions.

He said: “I would just say to them have a think about they would feel if anything was done to their property that they had worked hard for. That’s my message.

“For their five minutes of fun think about the implications – how would they feel?”

Norfolk police said a second vehicle in the area – a Renault 5 Turbo which was being restored – was also set alight. That fire also spread to another vehicle, a VW Sharan.

Two men wearing light-coloured hooded tops were seen in the area around the time of the blazes.

They are described as white, of slim to medium build, aged in their late teens or early 20s.

Both were seen to run from the scene along Mayfly Way towards Bowthorpe.

Police would like to hear from anyone who saw the fires or has information about them.

Contact PC Richard Cox at Wymondham Police Station on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Have you got a crime story for the Evening News? Call reporter Peter Walsh on 01603 772436 or email peter.walsh@archant.co.uk

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