Angry groom jailed for hotel fire

Hotel News - 26/03/2012

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Thirty-seven-year-old Max Kay from Liverpool was sentenced to six years in jail late last week after admitting he had set fire during on the evening of 19 June at Tarporley’s Peckforton Castle Hotel last summer.

Those in attendance at Chester Crown Court heard that Kay had been drinking heavily and started the blaze following a standoff with hotel staff regarding his bar tab. He later admitted to reckless conduct as well as arson, prompting Judge Roger Dutton’s sentence in which he said Kay had tried to “maintain bravado” with family and friends amid the ordeal. He said to Mr Kay that he had embarked on a £25,000 ceremony that he was never able to afford after having declared bankruptcy.

About 120 people escaped the hotel during the incident, as about 100 fire fighters worked to control the blaze at the 19th century structure. According to prosecutors, Kay had consumed about 20 vodka drinks and was seen via CCTV going into the hotel drawing room, where investigators later determined the fire had started.

Officials said that Kay had argued with hotel staff early in the day regarding about £15,000 that he still owed for the ceremony.

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