Man charged with hospital fires


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The Independent Online

A man has been charged by detectives investigating a series of fires at hospitals and other public buildings.

Thomas Ashcroft, 34, of no fixed address, is accused of starting blazes at the Medway Maritime Hospital and Kent and Canterbury Hospital in Kent and the Hilton Hotel in Sheffield.

Kent Police said he was charged last night with three counts of arson with intent and three counts of burglary.

Ashcroft will remain in custody ahead of an appearance tomorrow at a court to be determined.

The fire at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital happened just before 3pm on August 30, during which there was a report of a theft from the hospital restaurant.

The day before, on August 29, a fire broke out at the Medway Maritime Hospital. No-one was reported injured in either of the hospital fires.

An arrest was made after CCTV images were released of a man police wanted to trace over the fires, which were investigated by police, the fire service and the NHS.