Gemma Peat, the woman who started the fire which caused more than £5 million worth of damage to Nottingham station, has been jailed for two years and one month.
Peat, of Wilford Crescent, Nottingham, had previously pleading guilty to a charge of arson at Nottingham Crown Court.
On 12 January 2018, Peat was responsible for causing a major fire which started in the women’s toilets at the station.
Shortly after 06:30 on 12 January 2018, staff smelt smoke in the toilets on the station concourse. The fire alarm was raised and British Transport Police officers and rail staff swiftly evacuated the station. Their quick actions meant no one suffered any injuries. Crews from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service then worked to stop the blaze.
British Transport Police investigated the circumstances of the fire, sifting through evidence to understand the cause. Specialist fire investigators from the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue service assisted detectives, who established the cause was due to arson.
Peat was arrested on 2 February 2018 and was released on bail. The investigation was painstaking and involved a complex recovery of the extensively damaged CCTV system. The CCTV evidence ultimately lead to Peat’s second arrest in January this year, when she was questioned about her movements through the station on the morning of the blaze.
CCTV captured the moment she entered the toilets and this evidence was crucial in placing Peat at the source of the devastating fire. A short while later, the CCTV cuts off as black smoke fills the room.
Detective Sergeant Shanie Erwin, from British Transport Police, said: “This was an incredibly complex investigation, which took many months of meticulous investigative work to bring before the courts. Frustratingly, the blaze caused catastrophic damage to the station’s CCTV systems, however we were able to recover this vital evidence thanks to a state-of-the-art digital forensic process.
“Undoubtedly, this helped us in securing a prosecution and putting Peat behind bars. The resulting fire caused devastation to Nottingham station and I would like to pay tribute to the emergency service responders, and the rail staff. They all worked heroically in a truly hazardous environment, helping passengers and ensuring that no one came to harm.”