Woman charged with church arson

LEIGHTON KEITH
Last updated 14:03 07/01/2014
DAILY NEWS ONLINE

Police and fire investigators are at the scene of the fire which gutted the St Philomena's Catholic Church.

Fire at New Plymouth church

Relevant offers

Crime

Man convicted of drink-drive fatality Police probe into missing council cars Son to attend Black Power dad's funeral Armed robbery prompts manhunt Business owners help find alleged fraudster Digger, tools, gun seized in raid Fraudster in position of trust ripped off varsity Driver had cannabis, sped, was tired, not meant to drive Drug importer found guilty at re-trial February date set for Foley murder trial

A New Plymouth woman has been arrested and charged with the arson of St Philomena's Catholic Church.

The Fire Service was alerted to the blaze, which was being treated as suspicious, in the Brooklands Rd church at 2.50pm yesterday.

Detective Sergeant Gerard Bouterey confirmed a 59-year-old woman was arrested and charged on Monday night.

''She was found through assistance and information obtained from the public,'' Bouterey said.

The woman, who was known to police, was today released on bail by the New Plymouth District Court to reappear on January 29.

Bouterey said it was pleasing to make a quick arrest in the case.

Father Craig Butler said the blaze had been a real shock to the wider Catholic community.

Messages of support had been received from as far away as the United Kingdom and India, he said.

''We are very grateful for the support of the wider community and just the expressions of concern.''

A prayer service will be held at the church at 5.30pm today.

Yesterday crowds of people lined the street as flames leapt from the church's roof, windows exploded and firefighters battled to bring the blaze under control.

Nicholls said the fire was well alight when firefighters got there.

"Flames were clearly visible from the roof as we arrived," Nicholls said.

Ad Feedback

- Taranaki Daily News

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content