Trio jailed for arson attack on Sutton nightclub

Ricky Whitworth
Ricky Whitworth

Three men have been jailed for five years each for an arson attack on a disused Sutton nightclub.

Ricky Whitworth, 24, formerly of Penn Street, Sutton; Connor Bowerman, 19, formerly of Welbeck Street, Sutton, and Robert Short, 19, formerly of Welbeck Street, Sutton, were sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday 21 March 2017) having all been found guilty of arson reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Connor Bowerman

Connor Bowerman

The court heard that the trio had set fire to the First Base Bar in Low Street on September 7, 2015. The building was extensively damaged and the occupants of an adjoining flat were evacuated.

The arsonists had been seen acting suspiciously in the Market Place by police officers on plain clothes patrol. They ran from the officers who became aware of the fire as they gave chase.

Descriptions of the three males were passed over police radio and an officer recognised two of them as Whitworth and Bowerman who he had spoken to earlier. Officers received information that Short was the third male.

After the trio was arrested officers searched Whitworth’s and Short’s flats and recovered clothing. Clothes found at Short’s flat matched those worn by one of the youths who had fled from the police.

Robert Short.

Robert Short.

Enquiries were made into the fire and it was established that shortly before the blaze was discovered, three males matching the description of those who ran from the police were captured on CCTV walking down an alleyway leading to the back of the First Base Bar.

Detective Chief Inspector Mathew Healey, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: "We welcome the sentences given to these men and hope their imprisonment will not only act as a deterrent but shows that we will not tolerate serious incidents such as this and that we will deal with offenders accordingly."