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Driver's seven years for torching Stobart trucks will stand
9:00am Friday 9th November 2012 in News
A DEPRESSED long-distance lorry driver who torched 14 Eddie Stobart trucks while working for the company in Chelford has been told by top judges that his seven-year jail term was not a day too long.
Rogue driver, Ronald Alexander Day, 54, began his campaign of destruction in January 2009 and continued for two-and-a-half years, causing damage and loss amounting to £1m.
Day, of Wentworth Grove, Winsford, was sentenced to seven years behind bars in January this year at Chester Crown Court after pleading guilty to 14 counts of arson.
Today Lord Justice Richards, Mr Justice Stuart-Smith and Sir Geoffrey Grigson, sitting at London's Criminal Appeal Court, heard him plead for that sentence to be cut.
The court heard Day set fire to the cabs of 14 trucks at seven depots across the country as a ‘cry for help’ whilst he was suffering from depression after piling up huge debts.
Four of the blazes were started at the Eddie Stobart base, in Chelford where he was eventually caught out.
Stobart bosses at first thought there must be an electrical fault with the trucks, made by Swedish company Scania, but suspicion fell on Day as other drivers reported how he always seemed to be about when a fire started.
He was watched by investigators as he set a truck alight in the yard of the depot in September last year and arrested.
Lawyers for Day today pleaded his fragile mental state in mitigation.
But, dismissing his appeal, Lord Justice Richard said: “The seriousness of the offence of arson must not be underestimated. These offences took place over a long period and there were serious aggravating factors.
“The question for us is whether the sentence was manifestly excessive. We are satisfied that the sentence of seven years was entirely justified. This application is dismissed.”