Man denies arson charges

AN Alnwick man has pleaded not guilty to a string of arson offences.

Keith Barrass, of Ravensmede, denies four counts of setting cars on fire in the town between the end of July and September.

The 21-year-old is charged with destroying by fire a Fiat Punto between Sunday, July 31 and Monday, August 1, a Ford Mondeo estate between Friday, August 19 and Saturday, August 20 and a Rover 45 on Friday, September 16.

He is also charged with damaging a Vauxhall Insignia by fire between Wednesday, September 7 and Thursday, September 8.

The total value of the destroyed and damaged cars is nearly £20,000.

At South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court on Monday, the bench declined jurisdiction and the case was adjourned until Monday, January 9 at 10am to be committed to crown court.

Barrass is on bail with conditions to reside at 23 Ravensmede, a curfew between 8pm and 7am and not to contact prosecution witnesses save for Rebecca Patterson.