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Pensioner collapses after arson attack terror

Published date: 14 November 2012 |
Published by: Rebecca Cole
Read more articles by Rebecca Cole


The woman was rushed to Wrexham Maelor Hospital 

A PENSIONER collapsed minutes after arsonists torched a car on her driveway.

The woman – named locally as Dorothy Dudley-Smith, who is in her 70s – was rushed to Wrexham Maelor Hospital after firefighters discovered her red Ford Fiesta engulfed in flames outside her home on The Orchards, on the outskirts of Caia Park.

It is understood she is in a serious condition.

A man has been arrested and is currently being questioned by police. Chief Inspector Alex Goss said: “We are treating this incident extremely seriously and have increased high visibility patrols in the area.

“Car arson is a serious and dangerous crime and we are appealing for the community to work with us to bring those responsible to justice.

“We are unsure at this stage whether this incident is linked to a recent spate of arson attacks in the area although a thorough and in-depth investigation is taking place.

“The police, council and North Wales Fire and Rescue Service are working closely together to ensure this matter gets the up most attention.

“Together we will reassure the local communities and keep them informed of the work taking place.”

Caroline Edwards, who lives next door to Mrs Dudley-Smith and her husband Eric, woke to the sound of an explosion.

She told the Leader: “The car was engulfed in flames.

“It was so scary because we knew the couple were in and the fire was so close to the house.”

Resident Louise Bain added: “This kind of shock can have a serious impact on the health of an elderly person and I hope she will make a speedy recovery.

“You would hope this would shock the arsonists into stopping but I’m sure they still won’t give a damn.”

Previously, Smithfield councillor Keith Gregory had voiced fears it would only be a matter of time before someone was hurt as a result of arson.

“It’s been going on for a long time in Caia Park and could do someone real damage,” he said.

“I’ve heard the owner of the car collapsed from the shock of seeing their car go up in flames.”

Whitegate councillor Marc Jones wants to reassure the public that he was working with the police and fire authorities to bring the mayhem to an end.

He said: “All we want is to make sure the individuals causing these fires and criminal damage are caught and the community needs to come together to help that. It must stop now.”

A spokesman for North Wales Fire and Rescue Service were called to the address at 4am and confirmed the car had been totally destroyed.

North Wales Ambulance Service were called 11 minutes later to reports the woman had collapsed and she was rushed to Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

Anyone with information can call North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

The attack comes just days after vandals smashed five cars and stole two more in Benjamin Road and Hightown Road, just along from The Orchards in the early hours of Saturday.

And it is the latest in a spate of arson attacks on cars in the Caia Park and Hightown areas of Wrexham which spiked on Bonfire Night when there were 16 fires in one night in the town, including four attacks on cars.

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  1. Posted by: a cahill at 08:57 on 14 November 2012 Report

    Do I detect the beginning of a scheme to blame all crime on Caia Park....."The Orchards on the outskirts of Caia Park"...it does of course suit certain Councillors and Groups getting funding in the area to make Caia look as bad as they possibly can in order to prolong and enhance the gravy train

  2. Posted by: a cahill at 09:13 on 14 November 2012 Report

    The actual fact is that housing is being improved thanks to funding from the energy companies.....obviously better housing bring a better attitude from residents ...Community First has lost its power over funding in the area which should take the politics out of funding and allow residents to bring forward new and fresh thinking to the area

  3. Posted by: a cahill at 09:28 on 14 November 2012 Report

    All we need now is a policing that is not down to the likes or dislike of a couple of PCSO's....Councillors that are committed to the area rather than protecting their publicly funded salaries....and an Estate Office that actually enforces the Tenancy agreement without prejudice ...and may I remind the Leader Staff that the Town Centre is also on the outskirts of Caia so why not blame that on us as well

  4. Posted by: alidyl73 at 09:54 on 14 November 2012 Report

    The rise in vandalism and arson in general is alarming, more so in Caia Park. How long before someone is seriously or killed? Whatever area we live in we, all deserve a better level of Policing than we receive now. PCSO's who are more interested in keeping in with the Yobs are not the answer. Maybe a Police Commissioner will help, as it is now NWP are letting the tax payer down badly.

  5. Posted by: daisymay at 13:51 on 14 November 2012 Report

    Until this spate of arson attacks I haven't seen Caia (why did they change the name) in the papers in a negative light for a while. Is there someone new on the patch? If children. the parents should be charged with negligence, made to attend parenting classes for which they have to pay themselves & very heavily fined if absent.

  6. Posted by: if-you-ask-me at 16:22 on 14 November 2012 Report

    Parenting classes???? surely sterilisation would be a better solution, stop them from breeding any more thugs. As for fines ,, the majority of these useless parents are on the benefits so how does one enforce payment from someone who has nothing... £2 per week for the next tn years. Us tax payers end up paying it anyway

  7. Posted by: Andyj at 18:28 on 14 November 2012 Report

    I had my caravan and two cars burntout nearly 9 weeks ago and i have not spoke to the Police, they came during the fire for 2 mins and i have not seen them since,Wrexham policing is a joke

  8. Posted by: daisymay at 19:20 on 14 November 2012 Report

    I agree with you all but by stopping benefits, although I agree wholehearted that they should, what would happen to any other offspring who are innocent. It has to be the parents themselves that are punished along with the instigator. If you were the parents would you want to go through parenting classes particularly if you had to pay for the priviledge?

  9. Posted by: daisymay at 19:31 on 14 November 2012 Report

    I am sure that everyone wishes the lady who collapsed, a speedy recovery. She at least deserves our sympathy. It makes me so angry that people who work hard have to suffer at the hands of these vermin. At the age of 4 years most children know right from wrong.

  10. Posted by: eveningreader at 20:49 on 14 November 2012 Report

    Hope the old lady fully recovers. People who did this deserve one hell of a hiding.

  11. Posted by: wxmlass at 12:57 on 15 November 2012 Report

    Just read on wrexham.com that the old lady has died. May she rest in peace and the scum that did this are caught and sent away for a long time.

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