City of London worker faces arson charge after homeless charity fire

The man, a member of the City of London Corporation, is accused of causing £180,000 of damage to the club’s John Byrom golf and country club in the Thames Valley town

A City of London employee is facing charges after a fire at a club used for homeless people had to be put out amid concerns it could have burned to the ground.

The 19-year-old man, whose name is not being released, is accused of causing £180,000 of damage to the John Byrom golf and country club in the Thames Valley town of Newport, Berkshire, while armed with a lighter.

A spokesman for Berkshire police said: “Officers arrested a member of the City of London Corporation, aged 19, on Tuesday 4 May on suspicion of causing arson and criminal damage with aggravated vehicle leaving the scene.

“He has been charged and was due to appear at Reading magistrates court on Wednesday.”

The spokesman said the fire occurred between 4.30pm and 6.30pm on Saturday 5 April.

A 17-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the same offence on Sunday 6 April, the spokesman said. He has also been charged and appeared at Reading magistrates court on 18 April.

Both men were released on bail until 27 May.

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