Custodial sentences handed down to Sussex arsonists

Two men have been sentenced by Lewes Crown Court for a series of arson attacks in 2021 that caused over £1 million in damage.

It follows a series of deliberate fires that took place over the course of five months and required significant responses from both East and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services. As reported by The Argus, the arson attacks caused considerable damage to various buildings and farmland, including derelict properties in Horsham and Wivelsfield Green, two outbuildings in Lower Willingdon that contained cylinders and farm machinery, and several barns near Beddingham and Tarring Neville.

Sussex Police stated: “The estimated value of the total damage they caused was £1,117,825.

Investigations carried out by the police later confirmed that the fires had been started deliberately. Two men, Joshua Brinkley and Connor Luck, were arrested and charged with seven counts and two counts of arson respectively. Both men pleaded guilty to the arson attacks, and at Lewes Crown Court on Monday 30 October, Brinkley was sentenced to three years of imprisonment, while Luck was sentenced to 21 months of imprisonment, suspended for two years. Luck was also ordered to undertake 200 hours of unpaid work and 25 rehabilitation days, with Sussex Police adding that he would also be on an “electronically monitored curfew” for three months. Both men were also ordered to pay a victim surcharge.

Detective Constable Emma Arthur-Devennie said: “These arsons were committed with no consideration given to the devastating impact that they would have on the property owners and farmers. The farmers lost a whole season’s worth of feed and bedding for the animals.

The arsons were not targeted, but simply for Brinkley and Luck’s own amusement. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured but their actions could have resulted in a far more tragic outcome.

I welcome these sentences and I hope they demonstrate that reckless behaviour will not be tolerated in our local communities, and we will continue to work hard to keep Sussex safe.”

Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “The actions of the two offenders have been rightly condemned as senseless and hugely dangerous and it’s a miracle that nobody was seriously injured.

These reckless arsonists left hard working families facing over £1million in damaged property and resulted in hours of emergency service time being used to tackle blazing buildings and vehicles. I hope this sends a message to criminals who think that there are areas of our county where you won’t get caught.”


(Image credit: The Argus)