Man admits driving fuel tanker into family's bungalow

 

A man has admitted a string of offences after driving a fuel tanker into the front of his family's bungalow.

Hugh Billington pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered; assault by beating; dangerous driving and theft.

The lorry driver appeared wearing a grey suit with a striped red and grey tie at Dorchester Crown Court in Dorset, where he spoke only to enter his pleas.

Judge Roger Jarvis told Billington his "loss of liberty" was "inevitable".

The 51-year-old was arrested by police following the incident in Wool, Dorset, at the bungalow he and his wife Christine owned, on January 20.

The court heard Mrs Billington was in the bungalow's kitchen when the tanker, loaded with kerosene, crashed through the front of the house.

Mrs Billington, who is understood to run a dog-grooming business, escaped through a window to a neighbour's house, the court heard.

Billington denied a count of arson with intent to endanger life, which was accepted by the crown.

Jennie Rickman, prosecuting, said: "The oil tanker was driven from the depot along Folly Lane and into the house.

"The Crown say to drive a tanker of that size off road in the manner that it was and into the drive is dangerous.

"The pleas have been considered... they are accepted."

The court heard the assault was against Trevor Knott, although no details were given of the incident.

Billington also admitted he stole a boiler suit and a rugby shirt from Oliver Towers on the same day he drove the ERF tanker into the bungalow.

Speaking directly to Billington, Judge Jarvis said: "You have made admissions to some very serious matters, loss of liberty is inevitable."

The judge adjourned the case to obtain pre-sentence and psychiatric reports before sentencing on April 30.

Billington, who gave his address as no fixed abode, made no application for bail and was remanded in custody.

About 30 firefighters tackled the blaze at the couple's bungalow, which suffered "significant" damage in the blaze, police said at the time.

Pictures released by the fire service showed the tanker crashed into the front of the bungalow, having smashed through the front wall and a set of windows.

The front door of the bungalow was removed and the blaze was seen to have ripped through the house out towards the back garden.

A large red Watson Fuels tanker was backed away from the home, leaving tyre tracks across the front garden.

PA

News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Eminem's daughter Hailie has graduated from high school
music
Arts and Entertainment
Original Netflix series such as Orange Is The New Black are to benefit from a 'substantial' increase in investment
TVHoax announcement had caused outrage
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

News
One Direction star Harry Styles who says he has no plans to follow his pal Cara Delevingne down the catwalk.
peopleManagement confirms rumours singer is going it alone are false
Arts and Entertainment
Curtain calls: Madani Younis
theatreMadani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Arts and Entertainment
'Deep Breath' is Peter Capaldi's first full-length adventure as the twelfth Doctor
TVFirst episode of new series has ended up on the internet
Life and Style
Douglas McMaster says the food industry is ‘traumatised’
food + drinkSilo in Brighton will have just six staple dishes on the menu every day, including one meat option, one fish, one vegan, and one 'wild card'
Sport
Mario Balotelli, Divock Origi, Loic Remy, Wilfried Bony and Karim Benzema
transfersBony, Benzema and the other transfer targets
Life and Style
Once a month, waistline watcher Suran steps into a 3D body scanner that maps his body shape and records measurements with pinpoint accuracy
techFrom heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor
Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy: Was the otter man the wildlife champion he appeared to be?

Otter man Gavin Maxwell's bitter legacy

The aristocrat's eccentric devotion to his pets inspired a generation. But our greatest living nature writer believes his legacy has been quite toxic
Joanna Rowsell: The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia

Joanna Rowsell: 'I wear my wig to look normal'

The World Champion cyclist on breaking her collarbone, shattering her teeth - and dealing with alopecia
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef gives raw ingredients a lift with his quick marinades

Bill Granger's quick and delicious marinades

Our chef's marinades are great for weekend barbecuing, but are also a delicious way of injecting flavour into, and breaking the monotony of, weekday meals
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014 preview: Why Brazilians don't love their neighbours Argentina any more

Anyone but Argentina – why Brazilians don’t love their neighbours any more

The hosts will be supporting Germany in today's World Cup final, reports Alex Bellos
The Open 2014: Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?

The Open 2014

Time again to ask that major question - can Lee Westwood win at last?