Teenagers on trial for Welwyn Garden City arson

TWO teenagers deliberately started a fire that led to a “massive” explosion in WGC, a court heard.

Shane Warner and Sean Michelin set fire to an old Renault Laguna car outside a mechanics workshop in Peartree Farm, WGC, during the early hours of March 27 last year, jurors were told.

Sally Mealing-McLeod, prosecuting, said the blaze then spread to three other cars nearby, leading to an explosion that caused “considerable damage” costing thousands of pounds to the warehouse.

St Albans Crown Court was told CCTV footage and four still images taken from cameras belonging to the nearby YMCA hostel in Peartree Lane captured the two lads at the scene.

Ms Mealing-McLeod said: “The four still photos clearly show the two defendants and there’s no dispute that the two people in the stills are the two defendants.”

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Warner and Michelin both deny arson, and are accusing one another of starting the blaze.

Ms Mealing–McLeod said that in his interview following his arrest, Warner, 18, of Edgars Court, WGC, confirmed it was him in the CCTV images, but said it was Michelin who started the fire, by leaving a cigarette burning in the Renault.

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But Michelin, 19, of Beechfield Road, WGC, said in his interview Warner was to blame, by setting light to a Lucozade bottle.

He claimed he did not call the police because he had run out of credit on his mobile phone.

At the opening day of the trial yesterday (Tuesday), jurors also heard a statement from workshop owner Charlie Grech.

He estimated the blaze caused between �15,000 and �20,000 of damage.

He said: “I’m not in dispute with any person and I’ve no idea why anyone would target my premises in this way.”

The trial continues.

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