'Car torch yobs could have killed us'

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

A MAN says his children could have been killed when yobs torched a car outside the family home.

The attack on the Volkswagen Sharan people carrier early yesterday came as the latest in a long series of vehicle torchings in the Rhos and Ponciau areas over the past few months.

Police said it is too early to say whether the incident was linked to at least a dozen earlier cases of arson.

The drama unfolded in Johnson Street, Rhos just after midnight when a neighbour alerted the VW’s owner, 57-year-old Stephen Nutman, to the fire ripping through his vehicle, which was parked in the side garden just a few feet away from the house.

Mr Nutman, who lives there with his 36-year-old wife Tammy and their two young sons, Steven, five, and Daniel, three, said: “The neighbour came hammering on the door and when he told me the car was on fire I looked out of the window and saw it well ablaze.

“The tyres were exploding and the windows were blowing out with the heat.

“I knew there was half a tank of petrol in it and I was really worried it would explode because my two children were sleeping in the room on that side of the house. The car is a write-off which is a blow because I use to take two children to hospital.

“My eldest son has Down’s Syndrome and is picking up bugs all the time.

“We also look after another 14-year-old girl, Jade, who had a kidney transplant four years ago and needs regular check-ups at Alder Hey in Liverpool.”

He added: “All this is getting beyond a joke – my children could have been killed.”

Chief Superintendent Neill Anderson, of North Wales Police, said: “We are working hard to catch these offenders who are unfairly making the lives of members of the community a misery.

“There is an on-going police operation in place and a number of people have been arrested and are on police bail while investigations continue.

“We have information that we are working on, but we would appeal to people to come forward to help us complete the jigsaw and we will treat information in strict confidence.

“We fully recognise these attacks on the communities of Rhos and Ponciau have far reaching impact on the victims, but I would like to reassure the community that we will do everything within our powers to bring these criminals to justice.”

Susan Elan Jones MP said: “I continue to have meetings with the police about the arson attacks in this area. What we are seeing in the worst sort of inner city gang-style crime, which is extremely concerning.

“We need people to be caught and given the most severe sentences with no leniency.”

See full story in the Leader

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