Abertillery man faces six years jail for Crumlin crisp factory arson

Campaign Series: JAILED: Abertillery man Colin Goulding JAILED: Abertillery man Colin Goulding

THE man who admitted burning down a Crumlin crisp factory was jailed for six years and three months today.

Colin Goulding, 31, of Bridge Street, Abertillery, had admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

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.

Judge Phillip Richards said it was: "A reckless act but I accept you didn't intend to cause the fire that had such devastating consequences, not least for your own family."

He added: "I have to have some regard to the extent of the damage that you have caused. This is far and away the most serious arson I have attended to as a judge in these courts."

It is estimated the fire on Sirhowy Valley Foods Estate caused over £6 million of damage and a financial loss of £25 million. Seventy-seven people lost their jobs, as factory owners Tayto Group Ltd did not to re-open.

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

During a night shift on September 20, 2012, Goulding, against company rules, took a short-cut through the goods warehouse where he lit a cigarette.

CCTV footage shows him walking out of the warehouse area and throwing his cigarette on the ground at 3.10am when he thought he heard another staff member coming. The father-of-one had previously been caught taking the short-cut through the warehouse.

Flames spread quickly due to flammable materials on site, including cardboard palettes and tens of thousands of litres of cooking oil.

Defending Goulding, Huw Evans said he didn’t intend to start the fire and neither did he intend to endanger life. He said Goulding was unaware he had started a fire and called 999 himself when alarms went off.

Mr Evans said: “The irony is the defendant lost more than anyone. He, his mother and father, all lost their employment.”

The defence argued some culpability should be placed on the factory owners, who knew workers would have a “sly cigarette” in the warehouse where there was no CCTV, to avoid wasting time removing overalls and going outside.

Det Sgt Ian Bartholomew said: “We’re satisfied with the sentencing today.” I hope it brings a level of closure to the families that have been affected.”

Comments (7)

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7:41pm Wed 8 Jan 14

richie55 says...

The hadline reads...man facing six years in jail surely it should read ...man was sentenced to six years jail.
Is it only me who have noticed the standards of the Argus falling?
The hadline reads...man facing six years in jail surely it should read ...man was sentenced to six years jail. Is it only me who have noticed the standards of the Argus falling? richie55

8:16pm Wed 8 Jan 14

ncfcr says...

6 years for dropping a fag on the floor? Clearly the consequences were absolutely terrible, but in the eyes of the law is there ever a conclusion of 'accidents happen'?

Or....does the article not tell the whole story?
6 years for dropping a fag on the floor? Clearly the consequences were absolutely terrible, but in the eyes of the law is there ever a conclusion of 'accidents happen'? Or....does the article not tell the whole story? ncfcr

9:01pm Wed 8 Jan 14

mvaone says...

He got what he deserves,peoples jobs and lives were ruined including his own parents no sympathy whatsoever
He got what he deserves,peoples jobs and lives were ruined including his own parents no sympathy whatsoever mvaone

10:13pm Wed 8 Jan 14

manofponty says...

Good enough for the idiot. His carelessness cost people their jobs and could have endangered lives.
Good enough for the idiot. His carelessness cost people their jobs and could have endangered lives. manofponty

12:21am Thu 9 Jan 14

Robert Shillabeer says...

richie55 wrote:
The hadline reads...man facing six years in jail surely it should read ...man was sentenced to six years jail.
Is it only me who have noticed the standards of the Argus falling?
No he is facing six years in prison because that's what is ahead of him. Nothing grammatically wrong in the head line because the time in question is ahead of him. Can't comment on the case that much because I haven't seen the evidence, was it a deliberate act or an accident or emission on his part, that would show if the sentence is a fair one or not.
[quote][p][bold]richie55[/bold] wrote: The hadline reads...man facing six years in jail surely it should read ...man was sentenced to six years jail. Is it only me who have noticed the standards of the Argus falling?[/p][/quote]No he is facing six years in prison because that's what is ahead of him. Nothing grammatically wrong in the head line because the time in question is ahead of him. Can't comment on the case that much because I haven't seen the evidence, was it a deliberate act or an accident or emission on his part, that would show if the sentence is a fair one or not. Robert Shillabeer

12:31am Thu 9 Jan 14

jerymp says...

Robert Shillabeer wrote:
richie55 wrote:
The hadline reads...man facing six years in jail surely it should read ...man was sentenced to six years jail.
Is it only me who have noticed the standards of the Argus falling?
No he is facing six years in prison because that's what is ahead of him. Nothing grammatically wrong in the head line because the time in question is ahead of him. Can't comment on the case that much because I haven't seen the evidence, was it a deliberate act or an accident or emission on his part, that would show if the sentence is a fair one or not.
Wrong I`m afraid, six years means three in our insane justice system
[quote][p][bold]Robert Shillabeer[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]richie55[/bold] wrote: The hadline reads...man facing six years in jail surely it should read ...man was sentenced to six years jail. Is it only me who have noticed the standards of the Argus falling?[/p][/quote]No he is facing six years in prison because that's what is ahead of him. Nothing grammatically wrong in the head line because the time in question is ahead of him. Can't comment on the case that much because I haven't seen the evidence, was it a deliberate act or an accident or emission on his part, that would show if the sentence is a fair one or not.[/p][/quote]Wrong I`m afraid, six years means three in our insane justice system jerymp

9:05am Thu 9 Jan 14

Daz Mondeo says...

richie55 wrote:
The hadline reads...man facing six years in jail surely it should read ...man was sentenced to six years jail.
Is it only me who have noticed the standards of the Argus falling?
If we really do need to go down the grammatical road, I strongly suggest you reread your post with the same critical eye, and then comment on the errors you see! After having given your post a fleeting glance, I have so far detected six errors.
[quote][p][bold]richie55[/bold] wrote: The hadline reads...man facing six years in jail surely it should read ...man was sentenced to six years jail. Is it only me who have noticed the standards of the Argus falling?[/p][/quote]If we really do need to go down the grammatical road, I strongly suggest you reread your post with the same critical eye, and then comment on the errors you see! After having given your post a fleeting glance, I have so far detected six errors. Daz Mondeo

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