Ryton cottage gutted in arson attack
Jul 30 2009 by Rob Pattinson, The Journal
A WEALTHY landlord plagued by intruders has had a cottage on his estate burned out in an arson attack.
David Crawford Emery was stunned to discover vandals had torched the gardener’s cottage in the grounds of his home in Ryton, Gateshead, causing tens of thousands of pounds damage.
The 50-year-old and his wife had been close to completing a pain-staking renovation of the building – at the heart of a conservation area – when vandals struck just after 8pm on Saturday.
Despite being in at the time of the attack, the local businessman had no idea his beloved restoration project was being burned to a cinder. Initial estimates have put the cost of repairing the damage at £25,000.
Now David has revealed the blaze was part of a wider problem of trespassers and “chancers” breaking into his grounds on a regular basis
The father-of-two says he has caught intruders in his garden on more than one occasion, armed with tools, including crowbars and hammers.
He said: “It is terrible. When I found out I just thought all our work had gone in vain. Our beautiful windows and new roof had gone up in smoke.
“We just want to get it secure now. The damage is extensive – it’s absolutely gutted. Every piece of wood has gone. Nothing is left, not the doors, windows or roof.