Man charged after London bar fire caused £20K damage

On Saturday, a fire at a club house on London’s premises meant to be used as a hostel for homeless people caused an estimated £20,000 ($26,200) damage, according to a BBC report.

Shahid Mufti, 39, a security guard, allegedly lit a fire using a cigarette lighter while working at the communal clubhouse at the former Manor Club near the city’s Queensgate Hotel, London Police and Crime Commissioner and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told the BBC.

Many are surprised and angered that this happened in #London on Saturday! — Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) January 29, 2019

The Metropolitan Police told the BBC that the fire was a criminal damage arson case and officials have charged Mufti.

“We allege the defendant deliberately set fire to [the clubhouse], causing the building to be damaged. A total of nine charges are now being brought against Mr Mufti,” Scotland Yard said in a statement obtained by the BBC.

Shahid was held at Belmarsh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, according to the Guardian. He is now on bail and is due back in court on Thursday, Jan. 31.

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In a statement following the fire, Mufti reportedly said: “I didn’t mean to do it,” as quoted by the Guardian.

Musing about the chance to make a statement after the fire was lit, Mufti reportedly commented, “Anything for a good laugh and a good bit of sales, these things are always for sale here.”

Fox News Insider contacted Mufti’s lawyer, Ralph Gardiner, but no comment had been returned at the time of publication.

District Judge Gerald Waldron, presiding over the case, reportedly refused to give Mufti bail saying he didn’t like taking the chance of using his bail release conditions and permitted him to remain in jail.

A member of the London Borough of Kingston, who was at the scene said that all 500 members at the hostel club were safe.

The owner of the former Manor Club is currently selling the building.

The news agency MEN reported that while holding parties, the club formerly featured a four-storey chapel named Trinity, which burned down years ago.

A former worker from the hostel said the clubhouse now planned to be converted to a hostel for local homeless people, according to the BBC.

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