A 49-year-old man has admitted being responsible for four arson attacks in Banbury’s town centre, which included three bank ATMs.
Colin Aries, of no fixed abode, appeared at Oxford Crown Court last Thursday, August 31, charged with four counts of arson in relation to incidents on June 5.
He also pleaded guilty to one count of threatening to destroy or damage a property with fire at an address in Horspath, Oxford, on June 6.
Aries spoke only to confirm his name and judge Ian Pringle adjourned the hearing to return back at Oxford Crown Court on September 23 to allow a pre-sentence report to be prepared.
The court heard that between 2am and 2.30am on Banbury’s High Street on June 5, cashpoints at Lloyds Bank, Yorkshire Bank and Santander were all set on fire as well as the front entrance to the Freemasons Hall on Marlborough Road. The High Street was closed while the police and fire service carried out investigations, with Santander having to close temporarily for a safety assessment to be carried out.
At the time damage to the Freemasons Hall included smoke damage in the lobby and gents’ toilets. Work to replace the front door took about a week to complete.