Jury out in Chilford Hall arson trial

The jury is currently deliberating in the trial of two men accused of burning down Chilford Hall in June.

Judge Hawkesworth summed up the trial so far at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday (Thursday, December 20), detailing the evidence given in the case against Mark Anthony Hall, 28, and Thomas Luke Richardson, 27, both from Pipers Close, Haverhill.

The pair have admitted to being at Chilford Hall in Linton when several buildings including the 18th century barn burnt down on June 13, last year, but each blames the other for starting the fire.

Richardson had worked at Chilford Hall for seven years until 2009, being sacked for stealing alcohol from there.

He had repeatedly threatened to burn down Chilford Hall following his dismissal and challenged general manager and director Glen Mejias to a fight.

He suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder.

Hall was not working and was on benefits.

He is autistic, and was adopted aged seven before moving to Haverhill aged 17.

He began drinking heavily after his adopted father died in April.

Both were drinking heavily on the night of the fire and say they had gone to Chilford Hall to steal more alcohol.

The jury is likely to return with a verdict later today (Friday, December 20).

For all the latest news and coverage of the trial see Thursday’s (December 27) Echo.