Man jailed for £320,000 multi-vehicle arson spree in north Bristol

Photo of a firefighter tackling blazing minibuses.
A firefighter tackles blazing minibuses following an arson attack in the car park of Rolls-Royce, Patchway. Credit: Temple Fire Station.

A man who set fire to 20 vehicles in north Bristol on a single night, causing hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage, has been jailed.

Daniel Cron, 26, of Filton, appeared at Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday 11th January 2023) where he was sentenced to three years in prison having pleaded guilty to 21 counts of arson – 20 vehicles and a fence – at a previous hearing.

Head and shoulders photo of a man.
Daniel Cron. Photo: Avon & Somerset Police.

Cron, along with an as yet unidentified man, set fire to both private and commercial vehicles in Stoke Gifford, Little Stoke, Patchway and Bradley Stoke in the early hours of Sunday 3rd April last year.

A large number of the vehicles were minibuses which belonged to Four Towns and Vale Community Transport, a community group which provides transport services for vulnerable adults and children.

Following the incident, detectives appealed for the public’s help to identify CCTV footage which could aid their investigation.

Dozens of people submitted footage from their private CCTV, doorbell cameras and dashcam.

Using the footage, officers then tracked Cron and the other man as he set fire to the vehicles over a three-and-a-half-hour period.

Table showing timeline of events.
Timeline of destruction: Arson attacks in north Bristol on Sunday 3rd April 2022.

Inspector Steve Davey, of Operation Remedy, said

“Cron has never offered any explanation for his actions and it was only by sheer luck that nobody was seriously injured or killed.”

“While no one was hurt, vulnerable members of the community lost a vital transport resource while the community group which owned the minibuses along with other motorists suffered a significant financial hit and the inconvenience of replacing their vehicles.”

He added:

“We’re extremely grateful for the support we received from the public following our appeals. Their help in providing us with footage saved a lot of valuable police time and enabled us to quickly put together a route Cron and the other man took and provided the evidence we needed to secure this conviction.”

Kitchen & Laundry Appliance Care.

A police spokesperson explained that while Cron had been charged with 24 counts of arson, he only pleaded guilty to 21 of them. This was accepted by the Crown Prosecution Service, so he was only sentenced for these offences.

The Bristol Post has reported that Cron’s barrister told the court his client has learning difficulties and a complex personality. The trail of destruction caused damage valued at £321,544, the court heard.


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