THE man accused of burning down a Valleys crisp factory today admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Colin Goulding, 31, of Bridge Street, Abertillery, was due to face trial at Newport Crown Court but pleaded guilty to one offence at the last minute.

On September 20, 2012, Goulding started a fire after he dropped a cigarette at the Real Crisps factory where he worked with his parents in Croespenmaen near Crumlin.

The fire at the factory on the Sirhowy Valley Foods Estate destroyed most of the building causing £6 million worth of damage.

A hundred local people lost their jobs when owners Tayto Group Ltd decided it would not re-open.

Goulding pleaded guilty to the lesser of two counts he faced, the more serious being arson with intent to endanger life.

Matthew Roberts, prosecuting, accepted the plea and Goulding will be sentenced tomorrow at 2pm.

Goulding was remanded in custody until his sentencing tomorrow.