Man in court over arson and burglary
2:06pm Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
A MERTHYR TYDFIL man has been accused of stealing over £4000 worth of autoparts and setting fire to a Barry business in a bid to cover his tracks.
The front of the building subsequently "fell on to the pavement" after witnesses heard an "almighty crash".
Lee Andrew Davies, 30, has been charged with the arson and burglary of Welsh Auto Parts, on Broad Street, on June 17 last year.
Davies, appearing at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday, October 9, at the start of a two day trial, denied the charges and stated that he had been in the building that night to secure the premises.
When Davies, of Woodland Place in Merthyr, was interviewed by police he said that his girlfriend worked in the bingo hall above the Welsh Auto Parts premises and when she came back from work was unsure whether she had locked the premises, so they returned to Barry.
Davies said that when he got there he noticed the the back door was open, so he went inside to check there was nothing untoward going on.
He said that as he entered the property in the dark he "felt his way around and may have touched various items", before he locked the gates and left.
He denies knowing anything about the fire or items that had been taken.
Alex Greenwood, prosecuting in the case, told the jury in his opening statement that Davies was accused of "stealing motor parts from there and at the same time, or shortly after, setting fire to the premises as well."
He added that on June 17 last year a witness was walking past when she heard "an almighty crash and the whole of the front of the premises fell on to the pavement."
He told the jury that when police attended and examined the premises they found two sets of finger prints near the seat of the fire.
Mr Greenwood said finger prints matching Davies's were "located in very close proximity to the seat of the fire".
Mr Greenwood added: "The prosecution is saying that it was in taking the items burgled he set fire to the premises to cover his tracks."
The case continues.