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Dead man wanted – magistrates order deceased arsonist to pay up

PUBLISHED: 17:03 09 April 2008 | UPDATED: 11:11 12 August 2010

BUNGLING magistrates issued a warrant for the arrest of a criminal SIX MONTHS after he had died in a fire he started. Traveller Lee Scamp, 21, of Tilbury Close, Orpington, was found dead along with the brutally battered body of granddad Norman Hawkins ju

BUNGLING magistrates issued a warrant for the arrest of a criminal SIX MONTHS after he had died in a fire he started.

Traveller Lee Scamp, 21, of Tilbury Close, Orpington, was found dead along with the brutally battered body of granddad Norman Hawkins just days after he was convicted of ABH.

However, six months later, Bromley Magistrates' Court issued a warrant for Scamp's arrest for not paying compensation to one of his victims. An inquest heard last Thursday that Scamp died after beating 59-year-old retired floor layer Hawkins and setting his flat alight in Croxley Green, Orpington, on June 9, 2007.

Days earlier, on June 5, Scamp had been convicted of assaulting a 24-year-old Asian man at a bus stop in Sevenoaks Way.

He was sentenced to a three-month community order and was fitted with an electronic tag and ordered to pay £100 compensation.

Six months later, on January 23, Bromley Magistrates issued a warrant for his arrest for non payment of the compensation.

A spokesman for the Court Service said they were investigating the matter.

Croydon Coroner's Court heard that horrified cops found the pensioner's bitten-off ear in the pocket of the tagged thug which was slumped against the front door of the studio flat.

Eight unopened beer cans were found next to boozed-up Scamp's body.

Cops believe he may have been overcome by smoke and fumes when he went back to steal the beer after starting the fire.

Mr Hawkins, who was suffering from throat cancer, was either "dead or nearly dead" when the fire was deliberately started, the court heard.

A pathology report found he had died of "severe blunt force to the face and the chest which caused multiple rib fractures on both sides of the chest due to the repeated stamping onto the chest and back."

He also had a severely fractured jaw and a bite mark was found on his shoulder.

Detective Constable Phillip Hafften told the hearing: "The shoulder bite mark was matched to Lee Scamp's dental records and the stamp injuries were matched to his footwear."

A separate inquest into Scamp's death heard that he had more than twice the drink-drive limit of alcohol in his blood as well as traces of cannabis, but there was no sign of any external injury to his body.

A pathologist's report found he died as a result of a high level of carbon monoxide poisoning "leading to asphyxia, collapse and an inability to escape from the premises."

Coroner Dr Roy Palmer recorded a verdict of unlawful killing regarding the death of Mr Hawkins and an open verdict regarding Scamp's death.

A spokesman for the court service: "At no time was the court notified officially of his death. If the court had been notified, all enforcement action would have ceased."

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