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Diocese of Derby
Church arson derby jpeg.jpg
Diocese of Derby
World News

19 year old detained in secure hospital after arson attacks on Derbyshire churches

by Donna Birrell

A 19 year old man has been detained in a secure hospital after admitting a string of arson attacks on churches and schools across Derbyshire.

Derby Crown Court heard that Johnny Brady caused millions of pounds of damage during the period of the attacks between October and December 2020. Brady, of no fixed abode, had earlier admitted six counts of arson and one count of burglary.  

The fire was so severe at the 14th century Grade 1 listed All Saints' Church in Mackworth that its roof collapsed. St Matthews Church in Darley Abbey and St Paul's Church in Quarndon were also badly damaged.

Brady also set fire to schools including St Mary's Catholic School in Derby where the blaze was so intense that the building had to be demolished and rebuilt at a cost of £8m.

During the hearing Recorder Patrick Upward said Brady had enjoyed carrying out the offences : 

"The offences disrupted the lives and education of hundreds, if not thousands, of children.
"Ancient buildings have been destroyed causing distress to churchgoers.
"You have not expressed a moment of remorse or apology because I am satisfied you still enjoy the recollection."

Brady's Defence lawyer Kevin Waddingham acknowledged that his client had caused "enormous colossal financial damage and colossal damage to the cultural fabric of Derby" but said he suffers from "severe and enduring" autism.

A psychiatrist told the court that Brady's condition could be treated in a secure hospital and that he could be re-integrated into society eventually.


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