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Homeless Thomas Ashcroft admits hospital arsons

Fire crews at Kent and Canterbury Hospital
Fire crews at Kent and Canterbury Hospital

Fire crews at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital

A 34-year-old homeless man has admitted starting fires at two Kent hospitals.

Thomas Ashcroft pleaded guilty to a string of charges when he appeared at Canterbury Crown Court today.

In total, he admitted six charges involving arson, burglary and attempted burglary - relating to incidents at Medway Maritime Hospital and Kent and Canterbury Hospital, plus the Hilton Hotel in Sheffield.

He also asked for several other burglaries and arsons to be taken into account, stretching from Brighton to Manchester, and including the cafe at the boating pool on Ramsgate promenade.

In the Kent hospital cases he was accused of intending to endanger life with the fires he started in August and September this year.

Detective Inspector Lee Whitehead from Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: “Ashcroft’s offending was widespread, spanning several counties.

"His motivation for fire setting appears to have been to cause sufficient distraction to commit burglaries.

"His selfish actions led to several hospitals being evacuated putting vulnerable patients at further risk. Thankfully no-one was injured in these incidents.

"The combined cooperation between emergency services from many counties enabled us to swiftly bring Ashcroft to justice and prevent further offending.”

Ashcroft will be sentenced on December 7 at Canterbury Crown Court.

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