UPDATED: Drayton man guilty of setting fire to Aylsham business

An Aylsham businessman has been found guilty of burning down his own family firm and trying to make fraudulent claims on his insurance.

Justin Hindry, 42, of Manor Farm Close in Drayton, was found guilty of one count of arson and one of insurance fraud after a four-week trial at Norwich Crown Court. The charges related to a fire at the Aylsham Bathroom and Kitchen Centre, in Burgh Road, Aylsham, in June 2012 and a separate caravan fire at the Haven Seashore Holiday Park in Great Yarmouth in November 2011. He has been cleared of the charges related to the caravan.

The jury heard how, in both cases, intruder alarm systems had been deactivated just before the fire started, and were then re-set minutes later.

They also heard mobile phone tracking evidence had placed Mr Hindry near to the kitchen showroom on Burgh Road at the time of the fire, and that separate eye witnesses had seen him in and around the building. It was also claimed that Mr Hindry had misled loss adjusters with regard to his route home on the night of the kitchen centre fire, and had taken a rural route to try to avoid being seen or picked up by CCTV.

Prosecuting, Mr Peter Gair said that the jury should take into account the unlikelihood of coincidence in respect of the two fires, and that for various independent sources to have created such a pattern of coincidence would be an affront to common sense and an insult to intelligence .

The jury of six men and six women also heard how Mr Hindry had a significant gambling habit, and had suffered losses totaling more than 200,000 at casinos in Great Yarmouth and via online betting sites in the years leading up to the two fires.

Detective Sergeant Darren Reade, from Yarmouth CID, who led the investigation, welcomed the conviction. He said: Hindry thought to con emergency services, detectives and his insurance company by setting fire to his struggling business to make money out of the claim.

He also deceived his own staff, many of whom had supported him throughout the investigation.

He has been remanded in custody until sentencing on September 3 .

Justin Hindry

Justin Hindry, former owner of Aylsham Bathroom and Kitchen Centre

Aylsham Bathroom & Kitchen fire

The blaze which was deliberately started in 2012

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UPDATED: Drayton man guilty of setting fire to Aylsham business

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