Groom jailed for hotel arson

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The Independent Online

A man who set fire to the country-house hotel where he was holding his wedding reception has been jailed for six years.

Almost 120 people, including 13 children, had to be evacuated from Peckforton Castle Hotel, near Tarporley, Cheshire, when the blaze broke out at 5am on 19 June, causing £5.4m of damage.

Max Kay, 37, of Liverpool, pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court in December to a charge of arson that was reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The court heard that Kay, a property developer with four children, was under pressure after his business failed. He was "massively" drunk and had argued over the bar tab and wedding bill.