Man in court over Bideford hotel blaze

Suspect, 63, remanded in custody to face crown court trial on June 17

A 63-year-old man has appeared in court accused of setting fire to a Bideford hotel.

Anthony Westhead, from Folkstone, Kent, appeared before North Devon Magistrates in Barnstaple today (Thursday) charged with arson with intent to endanger life.

More than 50 guests fled the building and four were rescued from the roof after fire broke out at Tantons Hotel in the early hours of Tuesday.

Sixty fire fighters and eight fire engines were used to tackle the blaze on the third floor of the Grade II listed riverside hotel.

Mr Westhead did not enter a plea and has been remanded in custody for trial at Exeter Crown Court on June 17.

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