Three men jailed for Nottinghamshire nightclub arson attack

From left Robert Short, Connor Bowerman and Ricky Whitworth.

Three Sutton-In-Ashfield men have been jailed for five years each following an arson attack on a disused nightclub in the town.

Ricky Whitworth, 24, formerly of Penn Street, Connor Bowerman, 19, and Robert Short, 19, both formerly of Welbeck Street, were sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday (march 21).

All were found guilty of arson reckless as to whether life was endangered following a trial.

The court was told the trio had set fire to the First Base Bar in Low Street on September 7, 2015, leaving the building extensively damaged and causing people in the flat next door to be evacuated to safety.

All three men 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 men were passed over police radio and an officer recognised two of them as Whitworth and Bowerman, who he had spoken to earlier that day.

Officers then received information that Short was the third male.

After the trio were 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.

Police later found shortly before the blaze was discovered, three people 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.”

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