We have today, Monday 8 June, welcomed the sentencing of a 47-year-old Knowsley man after a telephone mast was set on fire in Kirkby.
Michael Whitty, 47, of Perimeter Road, Kirkby, pleaded guilty to arson and was sentenced to three years in prison when he appeared at Liverpool Crown Court today.
Emergency services were called to Coopers Lane at 9.45pm on Sunday 5 April following reports that a Vodafone telephone mast was on fire. Nobody was reported to have been injured but damage was caused to the mast.
Detective Inspector Steve Ball said: “Incidents of this nature are not victimless crimes and can have serious consequences.
“We understand that these are challenging times for everyone, More than ever all members of the public are dependent on technology, including their mobile phones, to keep in touch with loved ones. People may also need their phones lines to contact the emergency services when they are in need and stupidity like this could put someone’s life at risk.
“I hope that this demonstrates to the public that crimes of this nature will be investigated and we will work with our partner agencies including Mersey Fire and Rescue Service and telecommunications companies and take action against those who are responsible.
“I would continue to urge anyone who witnesses anything suspicious or has any information about any incidents of this type to DM @MerPolCC or contact @CrimestoppersUK anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Group Manager Ben Ryder from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service said: “This is a clear message to those who would put firefighters and the public at risk by setting fire to phone masts – your actions have very real consequences for you.
“We will work with Merseyside Police to deploy specialist fire investigation and forensic recovery teams to all arson fires involving phone equipment. Every opportunity to recover evidence will be undertaken in order to identify offenders who use fire to commit criminal damage. As in this case, the evidence will then be made available to the Court.
“There is no scientific evidence of any link between 5G and coronavirus. Arson is a very serious crime and we will always work with our Police colleagues to seek justice.”