Man remanded over Kent hospital fires


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The Independent Online

A 34-year-old man has appeared in court charged with starting a series of fires including at two hospitals, according to police.

Thomas Ashcroft, of no fixed address, appeared before Canterbury Magistrates' Court to face charges in relation to incidents at Medway Maritime Hospital and Kent and Canterbury Hospital.

Ashcroft was charged on Saturday 1 September with three counts of arson with intent and three counts of burglary.

He has been remanded in custody until September 17 when he will appear before Canterbury Crown Court for a preliminary hearing, according to Kent Police.

Detective Inspector Lee Whitehead said: "I would like to take this opportunity to thank Kent Fire and Rescue Service and the NHS for their assistance with the investigation and the preventative measures that were put in place to prevent harm before an arrest was made.

"Thankfully no-one was injured in these incidents. I'm pleased we are able to present before the courts today for these offences and we await the outcome of the courts."

Ashcroft is charged with burglary and arson with intent at Medway Maritime Hospital in August, burglary and arson with intent at Kent and Canterbury Hospital in August and burglary and arson with intent at the Hilton Hotel in Sheffield in July.