Press release about not pressing charges in relation to the fire

"The Crown Prosecution Service has decided that no charges can be brought against either of the two men arrested on suspicion of their involvement in a fire at Hastings Pier in October 2010.
Tim Thompson, head of the CPS Brighton Trials Unit said:
"Sussex Police arrested two suspects in connection with this fire. The focus of the police investigation has been to establish what happened and who was responsible. The case has been carefully reviewed by the CPS, in consultation with the investigating officers.
"The nature of the structure and the extent of the fire combined to make this a particularly difficult crime scene. There is evidence to place both suspects, as trespassers, on the pier at the material time. There is evidence that a fire started through some human act at the time they were on the pier. We are left in the position where we cannot show how the fire was started and cannot show that the human act must have been a criminal act.
"We cannot show that there was or must have been any kind of joint plan. We have no admissible evidence to show which of the two suspects might have been responsible. We cannot prosecute on the basis that one or other of the two suspects might have been responsible; we can only prosecute where there is enough evidence against an individual.
"All reasonable lines of enquiry have been pursued and I have concluded that the two suspects should be told that they will not be charged. The decision has been taken on the evidence and information available to us. If new information comes to light the case will be reconsidered.
"I appreciate there will be concern that no one is being prosecuted. It is disappointing that we are not able to mount a prosecution in a case that is of considerable local interest but it is our responsibility to only bring prosecutions where there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction."
Here's a sideways response from the top of a hill:

The above response is by the incorrigible Imperfect Idealist,who has experienced a thing or two in relation to growing by facing up to what he's done.

How this has been reported in the national media:

Local Press:

More news will be found on the three other main other channels I use, so subscribe (or just read) 1-3 of these:

(Transcript of this interview on this Restorative Justice home page)

Who decides what justice is?

Other pages on this blog:
Mediation Support at Southwater Community Centre
Action for Happiness -A Good Week
Paul C -AKA Lend-It-All Man
Why Move to Hastings?


Maybrick44 said...

This statement comes as no surprise to me whatever. It has been obvious by the amount of times the two alleged offenders have been re-bailed that something was preventing any progress.

Playing 'Devils Advocate' for a moment, however, I feel this decision is far from ideal for a number of reasons.

1) As the individuals involved are not to be charged it is unlikely their names will now ever be released into the public domain. This is not good because of the following:

* They will never be given a chance to tell their side of the story.
* We, the people, will not now have the chance to question them or arrange any kind of 'community healing meeting' a la Mr Crosslands work.

2) Unanswered questions surrounding the exact timescale of events on the night in question, the apprehension of the alleged pair, about exactly how both participants gained access to the area where the fire is presumed to have started, no charges being brought, 'faceless and nameless' arsonists and
a number of other 'worrying points' are certain to increase the belief of those who subscribe to a 'conspiracy theory'. None of which is good for the community of Hastings to fully complete the healing process.

On the other hand, it has to be said and recognized that no-one wants to see a 'witch hunt' or someone charged for something they cannot definitively be proved to have been responsible for. Such an act is against all of the principles of our justice system and the adage of 'innocent before proven guilty' - something very precious I believe an which itself has been eroded in recent years via 'on the spot fines', 'CRB checks' and 'positive discrimination' (totally impossible by definition as discrimination of any kind cannot be positive in my opinion).

Will the whole truth about the pier fire ever come out now? Personally, I doubt it. I only hope that the real truth is not more damaging to our faith in human nature than not knowing. Conveniently some may say, it is time to 'move on' and look towards the building of a new pier for a new generation.

On whoever's conscience be it!

Anonymous said...

Why not offer the two 19 year olds an open invitation to clear their names on this site? 'My six months of hell as an innocent man', 'At last, a chance to share in the town's grief for the loss of its historic heart.'
I know that if I was innocent of this sort of serious charge, I'd be setting up a website myself to set the record straight.