Duo on church arson charge

Wakefield Magistrates court'Michael Lill
Wakefield Magistrates court'Michael Lill
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TWO men accused of an arson attack which caused £850,000 worth of damage to a church have appeared in court.

Michael John Lill, 23, and Jason Sulley, 23, are both accused of committing arson at St Faith’s Church, close to Pinderfields Hospital, on June 18.

Wakefield Magistrates court'Jason Sulley

Wakefield Magistrates court'Jason Sulley

Wakefield Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday how the damage estimate to the Grade II listed church had risen to from half a million to £850,000.

Fire crews spent more than 24 hours bringing the fire under control last month.

The church, on the corner of Eastmoor Road and Aberford Road, was part of the old Stanley Royd Asylum and is thought to have been designed by renowned architect Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1861. The roof, which was believed to be only one of two of its kind in the UK, collapsed and burnt to cinders.

Owners developers Linfit Investments had planned to convert it into offices and flats.

Lill, of Newton Avenue, Wakefield, and Sulley, of Hornbeam Avenue, Silcoates Park, both deny the charge.

Deputy District Judge Pascoe said the case should eventually be heard at Leeds Crown Court.

He adjourned the case until August and bailed both men on the condition they don’t contact each other.