Conviction in Case of Attempted Arson

Posted on: 22 August 2014

On 20 August 2014, Linda Joan Elt was convicted at Exeter Crown Court of attempted arson with intent to endanger life following an incident at Chawleigh in December 2013. Mrs Elt had barricaded herself in the entrance to her land at Lindley, Chawleigh in an attempt to prevent the Council from entering the land to continue work on removing mobile homes and caravans from it in compliance with an Enforcement Notice served on Mrs Elt in 2006.

In spite of her appeal against the Notice having been dismissed in the same year, nothing had been done to comply fully with the Notice which led the Council to engage with contractors to remove the caravans and buildings from the land.

Following the arrest of Mrs Elt, work continued to remove the remaining caravans and buildings. Another Notice has now been served to deal with items not covered by the original Notice.

Councillor Clive Eginton who is District Councillor for Taw Vale, which includes Chawleigh, said “This has been a particularly difficult case especially for our officers that have been involved. We are now nearing a conclusion relating to the total clearance of the site, after the majority of the site had been successfully dealt with earlier this year. I know that Chawleigh parishioners will be thankful when that finally happens.”

Chief Executive Kevin Finan added “We are pleased with the result of the case, given the threat to the safety of officers going about Council business and this is an issue which the Council takes very seriously”.

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