Ex-SAS man hired to burn football stadium
Thursday 28 January 1999
Ken Richardson, 61, a key figure at Doncaster Rovers at the time of the 1995 arson attack, was described by the prosecution as a "devious man" who had joined the South Yorkshire club because there were profits to be made.
Roger Keen QC, for the prosecution, told Sheffield Crown Court that Richardson had offered a Newcastle private investigator, Alan Kristiansen, pounds 10,000 to carry out the attack at the Belle Vue ground.
The former SAS man and his accomplices sprayed petrol under the main stand and set it alight. The fire caused pounds 100,000 damage to the stand and almost put the club out of business.
The night after the fire, Kristiansen left a message on Richardson's telephone answering machine, saying: "The job's been done."
Richardson, from Douglas on the Isle of Man, denied any involvement but was convicted of conspiracy to commit criminal damage by fire after a two-week trial.
Judge Peter Baker QCwarned Richardson, whose involvement with Doncaster Rovers ended last year when the club was relegated into the Football Conference that he could expect a custodial sentence. "This is a most serious offence, albeit an unusual one. But there's no doubt what the sentence will be - it's just a question of its length," he said.
The sentencing was adjourned until a date to be arranged. Richardson was remanded in custody pending a bail application.
Kristiansen was arrested after police found his mobile phone which had been left at the scene of the fire.
The private investigator, who was the prosecution's main witness, has already pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentence.
Mr Keen claimed Richardson had plotted the fire for financial gain and described the evidence he gave in court as "the worst concoction of waffle, piffle and flannel" he had heard.
- 2 Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
- 3 Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
- 4 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 5 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Kim Kardashian on Bruce Jenner's 'story': 'We support him no matter what, and I think when the time is right, he'll talk'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Russian girl takes her own life after parents find pornography on her computer
Ball pool for adults opens in London
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A reputable organisation within the leisure i...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...
£96000 - £200000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Looking for a better earning p...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly expanding company in ...