20th May 2015
A supermarket manager is facing eight months in jail for setting fires at his work’s premises because he was frustrated by his perception that his employer had not taken his pleas for help with malfunctioning equipment seriously.
Initially it was thought that a fire in the office of a supermarket petrol station had been caused by an electrical fault. Hawkins was asked to investigate and shortly afterwards two further fires occurred. It soon became clear to our expert that the evidence was pointing away from malfunctioning equipment. After working closely with the Fire Service, conducting thorough scene examinations, interviewing witnesses and examining evidence in our laboratory our expert came to the conclusion that whilst there was insufficient evidence to determine whether or not the first fire was electrical in origin, the latter two fires were most probably set deliberately.
The matter was referred to the Police, who conducted an investigation which led to the Manager admitting responsibility for starting the two latter fires. It is estimated that the company lost £50,000 a day after the store had to close the petrol station.