Leeds Majestic fire: Man denies arson UPDATED

A man has denied causing the huge fire that tore through The Majestic building in Leeds on Tuesday night.

The scene at the fire-damaged Majestyk building.
The scene at the fire-damaged Majestyk building.

Stuart James Jefferson appeared at Leeds Magistrates’ Court this morning (Thursday) charged with arson.

During a ten-minute hearing the 32-year-old, who gave his address as Broadlea Street in Bramley, Leeds, pleaded not guilty.

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District Judge Roy Anderson gave him unconditional bail, but the prosecution immediately appealed the decision.

The scene at the fire-damaged Majestyk building.

A crown court judge must now decide within 48 hours whether to grant him bail.

The case will then be dealt with at the crown court, where the first hearing is due to take place on October 16.

Tuesday’s fire destroyed the domed roof of the 1921 grade II-listed building, which was a cinema, ballroom and bingo hall before being turned into the Majestyk nightclub.

At its height 75 firefighters were involved in efforts to save it.

Despite the extensive damage, it is believed the building itself is structurally sound and could be restored.