Grandad devastated after arsonists destroy his Hartlepool allotment

John Llewellyn with his granddaughter Mollie Anderson next to his alllotment cabin, which was destroyed by arsonists.
John Llewellyn with his granddaughter Mollie Anderson next to his alllotment cabin, which was destroyed by arsonists.

A granddad has been left devastated after his allotment cabin was destroyed by fire in an arson attack.

John Llewellyn’s plot at Chester Road allotments in Hartlepool was found ablaze on Sunday evening.

Two engines from Hartlepool’s Stranton Fire Station were scrambled to the scene and spent 15 minutes tackling the fire in the shed, which was burned to the ground.

The town’s allotments have been blighted by trouble in recent months and firefighters are now working with police and council officials to try and tackle the problem.

A Cleveland Police spokesman has confirmed that officers are continuing to investigate the cause of Sunday’s fire.

It was the third time that Mr Llewellyn’s property was targeted after previous sheds containing pigeons were set on fire last year and in 2011.

Although no pigeons were in the shed this time, £600-worth of tools including spades and pitchforks have gone.

John, 54, who works as an industrial painter, said: “Altogether it’s probably about £1,000-worth of things altogether.

“I don’t know what to do, whether to give my garden up or carry on, because this is the third time it’s happened now.

“A friend of mine called to say the garden was on fire on Sunday teatime, so I rushed up but by then the fire brigade had put almost all of it out.

Mr Llewellyn, a dad-of-five, had been spending time with 11-year-old grandaughter Mollie at the site but he now says she is heartbroken about what happened.

“All Mollie’s done for the last couple of days is cry because she’s so upset,” added Mr Llewellyn.

“I don’t why they keep targeting me.

“I’m the type of person who gets on with anyone, so I don’t understand it.”

As part of recent crack down into the number of fires in the area, Operation Scarecrow was launched.

The scheme has seen cadets receive training from a victim services officer and they have been touring allotment sites in the town to give advice to tenants.