Arsonist jailed for starting deadly Aberystwyth hotel fire

6 March 2019, 16:38 | Updated: 6 March 2019, 17:15

Damion Harris

An arsonist who destroyed a hotel in Aberystwyth, killing one of the guests, has been jailed.

Damion Harris started the deadly fire at the Ty Belgrave hotel on the seafront last summer.

Sixteen guests were staying at the hotel, including several children, who had to be evacuated in the night.

But several weeks later firefighters found the remains of Juozas Tunaitis in the wreckage of the building on Marine Terrace.

Belgrave House hotel fire

The Lithuanian national had been working as a contract fire safety officer at Aberystwyth University.

Harris, 31, was due to face murder charges but admitted manslaughter and arson on the day he was due to go on trial.

He's been sentenced to 16 years in prison at Swansea Crown Court, with an additional five years on licence.

Janine Davies of the CPS said: "Damion Harris appeared determined to carry out this dangerous act by starting a fire in two separate areas of the building.

"He did this at one of the busiest times for the hotel and when guests would likely be asleep."

Detective Inspector Jonathan Rees, Ceredigion C.I.D said: "This is a tragic case where 48-year-old Juozas Tunaitis sadly lost his life.

"I would like to thank everyone involved for their diligent work in bringing the offender to justice and also to the community in Aberystwyth for their support and patience during what was an intense investigation.

"Our thoughts remain with the family of Mr Tunaitis and hope that this result will provide some closure to the family."