Arson accused on video link

Len Curtis surveys the damage caused by a fire at Donna's Dream House
Len Curtis surveys the damage caused by a fire at Donna's Dream House
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A TEENAGER accused of causing a £100,000 blaze at a charity run for terminally ill children has made his first appearance in court.

Cairn Major appeared on a video link from Preston Prison to Blackpool Magistrates Court.

The 18-year-old, of Tyldesley Road, Blackpool, faces a charge of deliberately setting fire to Donna’s Dream House on Chapel Street in the resort.

The dream house is a charity run by Len Curtis in memory of his daughter which gives respite care to sick children and their families by offering them a well deserved holiday in Blackpool.

Major is also charged with two allegations of burgling the charity premises on December 21.

He faces further allegations of possessing an offensive weapon-a knife- and affray on Clinton Avenue, Blackpool, on December 28.

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said the arson allegation concerned damage worth between £85,000 and £100,000.

That charge was deemed too serious to be dealt with by magistrates and would have to be heard at Preston Crown Court. Major was remanded in custody by magistrates pending trial at the higher court.

Steven Townley, defending, said he would be making an application for bail when the case went in front of a crown court judge.

The fire broke out at the centre on December 21. Rebuilding work has now begun thanks to generous donations from the public.