Firefighter admits car insurance arson con

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A WIGAN firefighter has been warned he faces jail after admitting deliberately setting his expensive BMW alight in an insurance con - behind his own fire station.

Fire officer Anthony Murray had been due to face trial yesterday but at the last hour he changed his pleas to guilty.

The 43-year-old Murray, of Harswell Close, Orrell, admitted conspiracy to commit arson and two offences of fraud involving two different insurance companies.

He also pleaded guilty to attempting to pervert the course of justice involving writing a series of threatening letters with the intention of suggesting someone other than himself had been responsible for torching his BMW Alpina car.

All the offences occurred between September 13 last year and November 6 behind Skelmersdale fire station. The arson occurred while Murray was working on one of the station’s two fire engines, which had been called out on a hoax call.

Further remanding him on bail to enable a pre-sentence report to be prepared, Judge Stephen Everett told him to “have no illusions, custody is inevitable”.

Gareth Collier, who made the hoax call and started the blaze, which also damaged two adjacent vehicles in the car park, has already admitted the arson conspiracy.

Collier, 33, of Roach Green, Whelley, is to return for sentencing along with Murray on November 25.