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Ice cream van set alight in North Walsham arson attack

PUBLISHED: 14:18 20 November 2017 | UPDATED: 16:06 20 November 2017

Before and after shots of the Mr Whippy van. Pictures: Graham Barton

Before and after shots of the Mr Whippy van. Pictures: Graham Barton

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A couple whose ice cream van was destroyed by arsonists said their “livelihood has gone up in flames.”

Before and after shots of the Mr Whippy van. Pictures: Graham BartonBefore and after shots of the Mr Whippy van. Pictures: Graham Barton

The vehicle was parked in a secluded spot at the side of the road in North Walsham when the arson attack took place.

Karen Barton, who owns the van with husband Graham, 52, said: “My husband had left it by the side of the road because it had a flat tyre and it could not be driven.

“We called the police to tell them we had left it there. They told us to put on it that it had not just been dumped, which we did.

“And then the following morning we were called by the police who asked us to meet them at the site. They said they had received reports that a van had been set alight and was completely burnt out. They wanted to know if it was ours.

“It was only parked about six minutes from our home in North Walsham.

“We are gobsmacked and could not believe it. This is our livelihood gone up in flames. It was everything we had in the world.”

The arson took place in Happisburgh Road, near to the caravan site, between 2.50pm and 10.23pm on Saturday, November 18.

The couple, who have five children, said they bought the Mister Whippy van about three months ago, and it was used for private hire. They have previously been involved in hiring out vehicles for catering and rodeo balls.

Mrs Barton added: “It’s now at a recovery yard in Skeyton. We are going to have to buy another van, because it cannot be repaired.

“But in the meantime we will lose a lot of money because it would have been hired out for a lot of evening events in the run-up to Christmas.

“Whoever did this are disgusting people. I just hope they are caught. You cannot go round doing things like this.”

Anyone with information should call PC William Harlow at North Walsham police station on 101. Alternatively contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.


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