Welwyn Garden City arsonists face jail
TWO teenagers are facing jail after causing an explosion that destroyed a row of cars and a mechanics workshop in WGC.
Shane Warner, 18, and Sean Michelin, 19, were both found guilty of arson at St Albans Crown Court on Thursday.
In the early hours of March 27 last year, the teens set fire to a Renault Laguna outside a repairs workshop in Peartree Farm, WGC. The vehicle exploded, setting fire to three other cars parked alongside it.
The heat from the flames gutted the workshop belonging to mechanic Charlie Grech, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
Footage from CCTV cameras belonging to the nearby YMCA captured them near the scene.
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During the three-day trial the pair, who met at primary school, accused each other of starting the fire.
Warner, of Edgars Court, WGC, said Michelin set fire to a Renault Laguna by holding a lit cigarette to the driver’s seat.
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But Michelin, of Beechfield Road, WGC, said Warner started the fire, by lighting a plastic Lucozade bottle and leaving it in the Laguna.
But it took the jury just over three hours to find Warner and Michelin jointly guilty of starting the blaze.
They will be sentenced next month, pending reports.
Michelin was bailed, but Warner, who is currently serving a sentence for driving offences, was remanded in custody.
Judge Stephen Warner said it was likely they would now both be jailed.
“I want to make it clear to you that you have both been convicted of a serious crime,” he said. “The fact that I’m ordering pre-sentence reports and granting you (Michelin) bail, doesn’t mean there won’t be a custodial sentence at the end of it.”