THE trial of a man accused of arson in Builth Wells has ended prematurely after the prosecution offered no evidence on day two.

Stephen Hill, 59, faced two counts of arson after being accused of setting fire to the front door of his Cwrt-y-Castell flat on April 18 this year. The trial began at Merthyr Crown Court on Monday and heard how “flames were seen coming from the letterbox” of Hill’s downstairs flat at 7 Cwrt-y-Castell between 4.30-5pm on the day in question. Neighbours noticed smoke coming out from underneath Hill’s door and frantically tried to get him out of the property but he refused to exit – allegedly telling witnesses “someone did this to me”. But after police and fire crews arrived on the scene it was determined that the fire was started deliberately from inside the property, originating in the letterbox, and Hill was arrested. He denied both charges, including one of reckless arson.

The prosecution claimed Hill had deliberately set the fire but, after hearing from fire investigators on the opening day, offered no evidence before His Honour Judge Richard Twomlow on Tuesday morning, December 1, and the trial was discontinued.