Portishead teenager jailed for arson attack

Crews were called at about 12.15am.

Crews were called at about 12.15am. - Credit: Archant

A Portishead teenager has been jailed after deliberately setting fire to a lorry.

Jonathan Cox, aged 18, set light to hay bales on a lorry in Old Mill Road back in April, but it also caused widespread damage to a nearby car transporter and businesses.

The cost of the damage exceeded £200,000.

Cox admitted one count of arson and being reckless endangering property at a court hearing in September.

However, he was sentenced for his crimes on November 9 at Bristol Crown Court, as magistrates felt the teenager’s actions were so grave they did not have the power to hand him a sufficient sentence.

Judge James Patrick jailed Cox, of Merlin Park, for 10 months.

The incident, which occurred in the early hours of April 16, was so severe homeowners living near Old Mill Road told the emergency services that an ‘explosion’ had occurred.

Avon and Somerset Constabulary said it was lucky that Cox’s recklessness did not kill anyone.

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Detective Sergeant Andrew Pugh, who investigated the arson attack on the day, said the effects of the fire could have been even more devastating.

He said: “The fire caused extensive damage to the lorry, as well as smoke damage to a car transporter parked next to it.

“It’s extremely fortunate no-one was in either vehicle or else the fire could have had fatal consequences.”

* For more pictures of the incident, click here.