CCTV released in bid to catch Castle Bytham arsonist as Crimestoppers offers £3,000 reward

The mask police believe was worn by the Castle Bytham arsonist
The mask police believe was worn by the Castle Bytham arsonist

A £3,000 reward is on offer to catch an arsonist who left an elderly couple homeless.

Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers is offering the sum for crucial information leading to conviction of the person who set fire to the home of Peter and Sylvia Cox, 82 and 74, in High Street, Castle Bytham on May 4.

The couple’s cottage was seriously damaged by the blaze, which killed their greyhound Toby.

Police have said the pair are lucky to be alive. They are currently in hiding and will not come back to Castle Bytham until the arsonist is caught.

The attack was one of a series targeting the property, although previous attempts to set it alight had failed.

Crimestoppers’ deputy chief executive Dave Cording said: “These arson attacks are very serious.

“The latest incident is very concerning as it seems the couple were very lucky to have escaped the fire relatively unharmed.

“This is a horrible crime to occur to anyone and especially to an elderly couple.”

The attack was featured on the BBC’s Crimewatch on Monday. Police have issued CCTV footage of a cyclist they wish to question along with a still of a halloween-style mask worn by the suspect.

Police spokesman Dick Holmes said: “Following the report on Crimewatch we have received a number of phone calls which have contained additional information and lines of inquiry.

“I would urge anyone else with information to get in touch.”

To view the CCTV footage and still visit www.lincs.police.uk/News-Centre/News-Releases/ and look for the June 13 entry named Castle Bytham Arson Update.

To contact Crimestoppers call anonymously on 0800 555 111. Rewards can only be claimed by ringing up and not by giving information online.