Woman who started fire which caused £5 million of damage to Nottingham train station jailed

Gemma Peat
Gemma Peat

A woman who caused a major fire at Nottingham train station has been jailed.

The blaze caused more than £5 million worth of damage to the station.

Gemma Peat, 34, of Wilford Crescent, Nottingham, had pleaded guilty to a charge of arson last last week at Nottingham Crown Court. She was sentenced today when she was jailed for two years and one month.

The fire, on January 12, 2018, started in the women's toilets.

READ MORE: Woman finally convicted for fire at Nottingham train station in January 2018

Shortly after 6.30am, staff smelt smoke in the toilets on the station concourse. The fire alarm was then raised and British Transport Police officers and rail staff swiftly evacuated the station. Their quick actions meant no one suffered any injuries.

Crews from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service then worked to stop the blaze.

As soon as the alarm was raised, officers from British Transport Police immediately started to investigate the circumstances, sifting through evidence to understand the cause. Specialist fire investigators from Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service assisted detectives, who established the cause was due to arson.

Peat was arrested on February 2 2018 and was released on bail. The investigation was painstaking, and involved a complex recovery of the extensively damaged CCTV system. The CCTV evidence ultimately lead to Peat’s second arrest in January this year, when she was questioned about her movements through the station on the morning of the blaze.

CCTV captured the moment she entered the toilets and this evidence was crucial in placing Peat at the source of the devastating fire. A short while later, the CCTV cuts off as black smoke fills the room.

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Detective Sergeant Shanie Erwin, from British Transport Police, said: “This was an incredibly complex investigation, which took many months of meticulous investigative work to bring before the courts.

"Frustratingly, the blaze caused catastrophic damage to the station’s CCTV systems, however we were able to recover this vital evidence thanks to a state of the art digital forensic process.

“Undoubtedly, this helped us in securing a prosecution and putting Peat behind bars.

"The resulting fire caused devastation to Nottingham station and I would like to pay tribute to the emergency service responders, and the rail staff.

"They all worked heroically in a truly hazardous environment, helping passengers and ensuring that no one came to harm.”