Prison for Crowland man who torched his own wine bar

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The owner of a Crowland wine bar who set fire to his own premises has been jailed for six months at Lincoln Crown Court.

John Carr piled up wooden chairs and a wooden clothes horse inside the bar before starting the fire at the Trinity Wine Bar in West Street, Crowland.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that Carr, who had been drinking, had earlier texted his estranged wife warning her what he planned to do.

As a result Carr’s daughter went to check out the wine bar, which was closed for the night, and on discovering the fire she alerted the emergency services.

Mr Howes said: “Firefighters with breathing apparatus were sent in and extinguished the fire.

“The defendant had locked himself in a toilet on the premises.”

Mr Howes said that Carr and his wife had been married for eight years. He said the defendant was described as a big drinker. His situation then deteriorated because of the death of a close friend.

The prosecutor added: “A lighter was used to start the fire. It was deliberate and determined.”

Carr (51), of South Street, Crowland, admitted arson on November 25, 2015.

Judge Simon Hirst, passing sentence, told him: “This was a deliberate, calculated decision to cause this fire. Under those circumstances I am unable to suspend the custodial sentence.”

Neil Sands, defending, said that at the time he committed the offence Carr had reached “an absolutely desperate state” in his life.

He said that Carr later paid for repairs, allowing for the bar to re-open but his wife was unable to run the premises on her own and the bar is currently closed.

Mr Sands added: “He has now formed the intention that the business should be sold.”