A pair of serial arsonists set fire to cars, building and haybales “for their own amusement” leaving more than £1 million of damage in their wake.

Joshua Brinkley and Connor Luck set fire to barns and farmland over the course of five months leaving emergency services from across Sussex to deal with the damage.

The pair, 20 and 21, left damage and destruction behind them wherever they lit up the county causing extensive to property and produce.

Sussex Police Detective Constable Emma Arthur-Devennie said: “These arsons were committed with no consideration given to the devastating impact that they would have on the property owners and farmers. The farmers lost a whole season’s worth of feed and bedding for the animals.

The Argus: Joshua BrinkleyJoshua Brinkley (Image: Sussex Police)

“The arsons were not targeted, but simply for Brinkley and Luck’s own amusement. Fortunately, no one was seriously injured but their actions could have resulted in a far more tragic outcome.”

Sussex Police linked Brinkley and Luck to eight different fires over the course of five months in the summer and autumn of 2021.

The fires included two large barns being set alight in Tarring Neville near Newhaven with smoke billowing over the A26 late in the evening on November 6, 2021.

Other fires linked to the pair include:

  • A large fire at a derelict building in Broadwater Lane in Horsham at 10.27pm on Friday, June 26, 2021.
  • A large fire at a derelict building in Wivelsfield Green. Eight fire engines were called out in the early hours of July 8.
  • Outbuildings with farm machinery in which were set alight at 7am on Sunday, August 29 in Lower Willingdon.
  • A barn in Beddingham near the A26 which was set fire to on November 2.
  • A hay bale fire at a vineyard in Alfriston on November 4.
  • A Vauxhall Corsa which was found alight in Lewes Road, Ringmer on November 7.
  • A large haybale fire in Seaford also on November 7.

The damage from the fire was estimated at £1,117,825.

Each of the fires were found to have been set deliberately and, following enquiries, Brinkley and Luck were arrested and charged.

Brinkley, of Southfield in Polegate, was jailed for three years after admitting seven counts of arson.

The Argus: One of the fires in Alfriston on November 4One of the fires in Alfriston on November 4

Luck, of School Lane in Blackboys near Uckfield, was spared jail and handed a three year suspended sentence. He was also ordered to do 200 hour of unpaid work and was given an electronic tag for three months.

A 19-year-old man from Polegate was also arrested and charged with one count of arson but a not guilty verdict was recorded after no evidence was brought.

Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “The actions of the two offenders have been rightly condemned as senseless and hugely dangerous and it’s a miracle that nobody was seriously injured.

“These reckless arsonists left hard working families facing over £1million in damaged property and resulted in hours of emergency service time being used to tackle blazing buildings and vehicles. I hope this sends a message to criminals who think that there are areas of our county where you won’t get caught.”