VIDEO: Arsonist caught on CCTV setting fire to ATM in St Neots bank
- Credit: Archant
AN arsonist set fire to the lobby of a bank where he used to work in St Neots.
Alex Marwick, of St Mary’s Street, Eynesbury, pulled down a poster from a wall in the foyer of Halifax, in the High Street, at 10.47pm on December 4 last year and tried to set it alight.
When it failed to catch, Marwick left and returned with a bag of rubbish, setting that on fire next to an ATM, Cheryl Williams, prosecuting, told Peterborough Crown Court last Thursday. He then kicked the poster on to the fire.
Ms Williams told the court that members of the public spotted Marwick, 25, and called the police and fire service.
She said: “He came back to the scene to see the damage he had done and smoke and fire that was still in evidence.”
Marwick was arrested at the scene.
Ms Williams added: “He stated to police he did not recall the incident. He was shown the CCTV and he then accepted it showed him and what he had done.
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“The CCTV showed that the defendant was intoxicated.”
Marwick caused £1,000 damage to the foyer and the ATM needed to be replaced, costing £15,000.
Caroline Allison, mitigating, told the court that Marwick, a trainee business analyst, was going through a difficult time as he was under financial pressures and going through a relationship break-up and had turned to drink. He is still friends with employees at the bank and neither he nor they can think of any reason for him to do this,” Ms Allison said. “He tells me that he left on good terms – he has no axe to grind. This was out of character and I’m certain he will never be before these courts again.”
The court was told that Marwick was taking steps to sort out his issues and had not drunk since January.
He admitted arson when he appeared in court on April 24. Last week Recorder David Farrer gave Marwick a 16-month sentence suspended for two years. He also ordered 12 months’ supervision, 180 hours of unpaid work and a curfew for six months.
He told Marwick: “You don’t need me to tell you that an offence is a very serious matter. In this particular case, the time which you started the fire in the bank meant it was unlikely that you would have placed other lives in immediate danger but it’s impossible to be sure in these circumstances. [The sentence] maybe unduly lenient. It’s a risk and I only hope I’m right.”