Arsonist who set fire to Harrogate homeless charity is jailed

An arsonist who launched an 'unmotivated' attack on a homeless charity in Harrogate has been jailed.

62-year-old Kenneth Fowler, of no fixed address, set fire to a shed behind Wesley Methodist Church, destroying thousands of pounds worth of clothing which had been donated by the public.

Emergency services were called to the church, on Oxford Street, at about 5am on August 11 last year, following reports of a fire.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

-> 'Anyone would have done the same as me' says Yorkshire police officer who punched violent prisonerAs the blaze spread through the shed, CCTV identified a person matching Fowler's description as the suspect.

62-year-old Kenneth Fowler has been jailed after he set fire to a homeless charity in an 'unmotivated' attack (Photo: NYP)

He was arrested nearby and later pleaded guilty to the charges of arson and criminal damage.

Last week, a judge at York Crown Court jailed Fowler for 16 months.

Speaking after the hearing, Detective Constable Matthew Reeve who led the investigation by Harrogate Investigation Hub said: “Fowler has launched an unmotivated attack on a charity working to help homeless people in the Harrogate area.

"He destroyed thousands of pounds worth of clothing donated by the public and caused cost and distress to the staff of the charity.

Fowler set fire to a shed behind Wesley Methodist Church in Harrogate, destroying clothes donated by the public (Photo: Google)

“Thankfully, we were able to identify and track down this offender very quickly and the conviction is obtained in no small part by the teamwork of the Harrogate Investigation Hub, Response officers and excellent partnership with colleagues at the council who manage the town’s CCTV network.”#