Ashfield man accused of allotment arson attack remanded in custody to await trial date
An Ashfield man accused of setting fire to allotment buildings in Sutton has been remanded in custody.
Nathan John Craig Smith appeared before Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on Monday, May 17, to face charges of arson and the racially-aggravated assault of a police officer, following the blaze on Friday night.
The 31-year-old also faces charges of witness intimidation in an unrelated matter and separate trials for assault and criminal damage, the court heard.
Smith, currently of no fixed address but previously of Brand Lane, Sutton, denies the arson charge and witness intimidation – but admitted the racially aggravated assault on a police officer.
He is set to be tried for assault and witness intimidation at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court on July 8 in an alleged offence which dates back to February.
On the arson charge, he will next appear at Nottingham Crown Court on June 14 for a trial preparation hearing. He will be sentenced for the assault on the police officer once his arson trial is concluded.
The court heard that the blaze had temporarily caused the A38 to be closed for fire crews to tackle the blaze, while a nearby McDonald’s was also forced to shut for around four hours.
Firefighters from stations at Ashfield, Mansfield, Alfreton, Blidworth and Nottingham’s London Road tackled flames which destroyed the allotments at Lane End, off Mansfield Road – with at least six structures plus a number of green houses destroyed in the blaze.
Smith was remanded into custody and no application was made for bail.