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Penge man jailed for rubbish fire behind betting shop

PUBLISHED: 14:38 07 May 2015 | UPDATED: 14:56 07 May 2015

Simon Kerslake

Simon Kerslake

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Blaze spread to roof of shop's extension

A Penge man has been jailed after setting fire to a pile of rubbish behind a betting shop.

Simon Kerslake, aged 50, of Bredhurst Close, Penge, pleaded guilty to committing arson recklessly and was jailed for five years (with two years extended licence) at Croydon Crown Court on April 15.

On Saturday, November 1, 2014, police and the London Fire Brigade were called to Ladbrokes, High Street, Penge, at 11.51pm after a pile of rubbish underneath a fire exit at the rear of the property was set on fire, with the fire spreading to the roof of the shop’s extension.

Two passers-by were treated for smoke inhalation and a substantial amount of damage was caused to the building before the blaze was brought under control.

Kerslake was subsequently arrested at his home address on November 12.

Sergeant Rob Goodwin, of the Penge and Cator Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This fire caused substantial damage to the rear of the building and it is only pure luck that the blaze didn’t spread to nearby residential flats with far worse consequences.”

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