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Friday, 19 September 2014

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Arsonists torched Cumbrian man's mobile shop in night-time attack

A businessman has been left devastated after arsonists torched his mobile grocery van while he slept.

Bill Lister, 58, lost all his stock and his Ford Transit was destroyed after firebugs struck in Maryport, smashing the window on the vehicle before setting it alight.

The attack happened in Ismay Close in the early hours, wrecking the van that was home to Mr Lister’s mobile shop – Bill’s Food On The Move.

He said his rounds took in towns and villages including Maryport, Harriston, Prospect, Aspatria and Dearham, and was visited by people including pensioners at sheltered housing.

“It wasn’t just a business, it was a service,” he told the News & Star. “People rely on it, especially the elderly.

“It’s absolutely gutted. There’s £3,000 worth of stock gone and the van was valued at £2,000.”

Mr Lister, who also drives taxis, said he was woken by alarmed neighbours who spotted the fire. The van was parked near his home.

“Somebody’s jealous of what I’ve got,” he said.

“I’ve got a good round. I’ve been going for eight months and I was doing really well.”

Mr Lister said he was going to try to continue his rounds in his people carrier vehicle until he gets a new van.

“I’d like to thank all the people who are supporting us and I will be back. The support I’m getting unreal,” he added.

Fire crews, including two firefighters wearing breathing equipment, used hoses to extinguish the flames. Two teams from Maryport were sent to the blaze.

Police are appealing for witnesses. Anyone with information can call officers on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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