Train bomb hoaxster back in court over arson attacks on Sunderland businesses

Ian Parkin, 34, of Hudson Road, Sunderland.
Ian Parkin, 34, of Hudson Road, Sunderland.

A bomb hoaxer who once threatened to blow up Sunderland train station has been back before the courts after starting fires at two Wearside businesses.

Public nuisance Ian Parkin appeared at the city’s magistrates’ court charged with two counts of arson.

The 34-year-old set fire to the office of Dowen Estate Agentsw, in Athenaeum Street in August this year, as well as accountancy firm Rayner Whiting and Co, in nearby Frederick Street, in the same month.

The court was not told what damage was done to either property.

Parkin, 34, pleaded guilty to both counts of arson.

Earlier this year he was given a suspended sentence for a hoax threat to blow up the railway station.

At the time Parkin said he had been suffering from a personality disorder whereby he heard voices in his head.

Defence solicitor Chris Wilson told the hearing that a psychiatric report on his client was being prepared so that Parkin could be sentenced.

“This is in breach of a suspended sentence imposed on Mr Parkin by this court in relation to a bomb hoax,” said Mr Wilson.

“Mr Parkin has struggled with his mental health for a number of years now.”

Parkin was granted conditional bail until his sentencing hearing at the end of this month.

Chairman of the bench Alan Warrener said: “We are going to adjourn this matter.

“In the meantime the Probation Service will prepare a report on you and also Dr Mark Turner we hope will push forward with a psychiatric report so that the next bench can look at everything and sentence you on that.

“It is a serious matter. You have a suspended sentence order in place at the moment so it is imperative that you are there.

“I have to warn you that there could be further consequences.

“If you commit any further offences while on bail your sentence will be greater.”

Parkin, of Hudson Road, in Hendon, will now appear before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, November 29.