UPDATED: Elderly couple’s Castle Bytham home is ravaged in arson attack

This stone cottage in Castle Bytham has been targeted by arsonists four times. This week, the house was ravaged by the fire.
This stone cottage in Castle Bytham has been targeted by arsonists four times. This week, the house was ravaged by the fire.
0
Have your say

A VENDETTA against an elderly couple reached a new and horrifying level this week, as their home was ‘fire-bombed’.

Police have issued a description of the potential arsonist in the hope that someone might recognise the person.

It is not known whether the cyclist seen in the area is male or female. He/she was riding a cycle with drop-down, racer-style handle bars and was wearing a backpack.

Detective Inspector Dave Swan said: “We need to trace this person as soon as possible. We are calling on anyone who was in or around the village in the early hours of the 4th, who may have seen the person on the bike, or who thinks they can identify him or her, to get in touch with us as soon as possible.

“A huge amount of work is being done to trace the offender by a dedicated team of detectives.

“At this stage we have no reason to believe that anyone else in the village or the surrounding area is as risk.”

Follows on from:

A VENDETTA against an elderly couple reached a new and horrifying level this week, as their home was ‘fire-bombed’.

The cottage belonging to Peter and Sylvia Cox, in the peaceful village of Castle Bytham, was torched by an arsonist in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

It is the fourth time the couple’s home has been targeted, and could result in an attempted murder charge for the culprit.

While emergency services were racing to the scene, heroic neighbours rescued Mr and Mrs Cox, aged 82 and 74 respectively, as the flames engulfed their home. Sadly, their pet dog died in the fire.

The devastated couple were rushed to Peterborough District Hospital suffering from smoke inhalation and later discharged.

The pair, who are staying with family, were too distraught to talk to the Journal this week, but neighbours have spoken out about their shock at the ongoing reign of terror.

One neighbour, who asked not to be named, said: “They’ve had petrol bombs left before. The last time it just burned the front door.”

Another neighbour said: “They are such a lovely couple. She’s a gentle soul and he’s a very nice man.

“I can’t think who would want to hurt them.”

Margery Radley, who until yesterday (Thursday) was councillor for the Castle Bytham area, said: “Peter said, when I met him some weeks ago, that someone had left something in his garden. He said, ‘Somebody’s got it in for me’. I said to him I can’t imagine why.

“This must be some twisted person. Whoever has done it must be insane, because they must have known it could have taken their lives.”

Mr Cox is editor of the village magazine, Glenside News. In the latest edition, he wrote: “On a personal note, thanks to all who have expressed sympathy over our third ‘firebomb’. We actually got some positive action this time and hope it doesn’t occur again.”

At the height of the blaze on Wednesday, 30 firefighters were at the scene. Small pockets of fire continued to burn throughout the day, and the county’s urban search and rescue team was called to make the ravaged structure safe.

Police are asking anyone who saw or heard any suspicious activity at the time of the blaze to come forward.

Detective Inspector Dave Swan said: “It was lucky that the couple escaped from this blaze, especially considering the extent of the fire and their age. Otherwise, we could now be dealing with a much more serious incident.”

l Information to Lincolnshire Police on 0300 111 0300.