21 Mar 2012
An arsonist who set ablaze the country house hosting his own wedding reception has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Max Kaye, 37, of Waylands Drive, Hunts Cross in Liverpool, caused almost £5.5m worth of damage at Peckforton Castle in Cheshire after he was involved in a confrontation with staff and owners of the stately home hotel over the finances of his reception in June last year.
In a trial that involved the court being shown CCTV footage of Kay going into and then leaving the room in which the fire was started, the accused pleaded guilty to judges at Chester Crown Court on a charge of arson that was reckless as to whether life was endangered.
Property developer Kay, who has four children, was judged to have set fire to the west wing of the 160-year old, Grade 1 listed building, necessitating the evacuation of the 117 guests.
Peckforton Castle, which was built for the first Baron Tollemache in the mid 19th Century, was used as a military hospital during WWI, and has since been converted for hotel and conference use.
Copyright Press Association 2012