Appeal for witnesses after rough sleeper's bedding set on fire in Worthing

Police are investigating after a rough sleeper's bedding and belongings were set on fire in Worthing on Saturday morning.

Tuesday, 9th October 2018, 12:52 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th October 2018, 1:59 pm
Firefighters at the scene on Saturday morning. Photo by Pavol Polacek

A police spokesman said: “Police are investigating after a rough sleeper’s bedding and belongings were set on fire in the Montague Centre, Worthing, at 12.25am on Saturday (6 October). 

“West Sussex Fire and Rescue attended and found the fire had spread to the doorway of the Laura Ashley shop in the centre.

“The belongings and part of the shop’s stock was destroyed in the blaze. No one was hurt. 

“Any witnesses or anyone with information should contact police online or ring 101 quoting serial 31 of 06/10.”

Laura Ashley was closed on Saturday and Sunday due to the damage but has been back open for customers since yesterday (Monday, October 8). 

Julie Pellegrino, assistant manager at Laura Ashley, said the window had broken and a sofa had been damaged.

A staff member at McDonalds in Worthing, which is opposite the Laura Ashley store, has described how he sprang into action to extinguish the fire when he saw the flames. 

Residents took to the Herald’s Facebook page to express their outrage at the incident and their sympathy for Graham Sawyer, the homeless man whose belongings were destroyed. 

Vicky Baalham said the fire was ‘heartless and pointless’ and Zoe Cross said: “Graham is a lovely man, no one deserves to be treated like this!”