Dagenham school arsonist jailed after causing £30k of damage

Robert Clack School in Dagenham

Robert Clack School in Dagenham - Credit: Archant

An arsonist who caused almost £30,000 worth of damage in three attacks on a secondary school was today jailed for 28 months.

Charles Hicks, 22, first set fire to a large shipping container in Robert Clack School’s Gosfield Road site in Dagenham in the early hours on January 5 this year, causing £12,000 of damage.

Less than a fortnight later, Hicks returned to set a shipping container containing £7,000 worth of goods alight.

Hicks also targeted the school’s lower site in Green Lane in the early hours of February 5 when he started a blaze in a storage shed containing £9,000 worth of PE equipment.

Snaresbrook Crown Court heard that Hicks, of Cricketfield Road, Hackney, also set a refuse bin ablaze outside the Saint Francis Hospice in Romford on February 12.


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He was arrested in March and pleaded guilty to four counts of arson with a fifth to lie on file.

The attacks took place while Hicks was subject to two community orders.

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Judge Alastair Hammerton said he accepted that Hicks was sorry for his actions but felt that a prison sentence was necessary.

“I have regard that you are making progress and I have tried to keep it as short as possible so that there is some light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

“You must recognise that these are extremely serious offences and it is perhaps only by good luck that people were not injured in your criminal acts.”

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