St Mary’s Church fire: no further action against arrested teenagers

NO action is being taken against the three teenagers arrested for starting the fire which gutted St Mary’s Church in March.

The Cambs Times can reveal they were detained and questioned after one of the boys joked to fellow students at the town’s Neale-Wade Community College that they were the arsonists.

The relieved mum of the youngest suspect spoke exclusively to the Cambs Times on Monday shortly after giving her 13-year-old son Adam the good news. We agreed not to fully identify the youngster.

“The last few months have been unbearable,” she said. “It is all because one of the other arrested boys said for a joke that he started the fire at the church with my son and my son’s friend.

“There is so much relief now he’s finally in the clear but my dad died knowing that this issue was lingering over his grandson.

“My son was at school when I found out police were taking no further action. I went straight there to show him the letter and he was close to tears.”

Adam was arrested at the college just a few days after the fire, which broke out on Monday March 15. The other two suspects were aged 14 and 16 years.

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She said: “I understand police have to follow their leads but I knew my son’s movements from 10am on the Sunday until when the fire was allegedly started.

“He went to Peterborough with his friend on the Sunday, he went to see another friend on Sunday evening and from 8pm until the next morning he was at home.

“Police claimed the fire was started between 2am and 4am but he was asleep.”

The woman’s father died on April 30 from cancer. A week after the fire he was taken to Peterborough District Hospital by ambulance.

She said: “Ambulances were queuing to get to A&E and the paramedics started talking about the children who were arrested.

“They kept saying they ought to be strung up or should have their houses burned down, and kept asking what sort of parents they have.

“Thankfully my sister was with me and made sure I didn’t do anything stupid.

“My dad was also talking about it in hospital but knew nothing about Adam’s arrest – we tried to keep it very quiet. Eventually I couldn’t help but tell him because he was attacking his own grandson for a crime he didn’t commit.

“But if police had made a decision not to take further action against my son on the first bail date (April 20) my dad would have died knowing he was in the clear.

“It’s all very well to say he didn’t do it but it feels pointless sometimes until you have that piece of paper to prove it.”

A police spokeswoman said: “The inquiries are ongoing. Just because these three people have been told there will be no further action against them doesn’t mean we are going to stop our investigation.”

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