Man, 30, charged with murder after Newton Poppleford caravan fire

A 30-year-old has been charged with the murder of a man in Newton Poppleford following a caravan fire on Thursday morning (January 9).

Police have said Lewis Finch, from Exmouth, is due to appear before magistrates sitting in Exeter tomorrow morning (Saturday, January 11).

Finch is charged with the murder of 47-year-old Geoffrey Pearce, who was from Newton Poppleford.

Given this is now subject to formal court proceedings, we would remind everyone that contempt of court rules apply. It is therefore essential that no-one speculates about the investigation, particularly on social media – Detective Inspector Lee Nattrass

Detective Inspector Lee Nattrass, of Devon and Cornwall Police, said this evening (Friday): “Lewis Finch has been remanded in police custody and will appear before Exeter Magistrates’ Court tomorrow morning.

“We have also now formally identified the body to be that of Mr Pearce and next-of-kin are aware.

“Given this is now subject to formal court proceedings, we would remind everyone that contempt of court rules apply.

“It is therefore essential that no-one speculates about the investigation, particularly on social media.

“It is essential that we maintain the fairness and integrity of the court process.”

Superintendent Matt Lawler added: “Police activity will continue at the scene in Newton Poppleford and on Cheshire Road in Exmouth.

“This will likely to continue into the weekend, however, neighbouring roads and properties will remain unaffected.

“We would like to thank the local community for their co-operation during this enquiry.”

UPDATE – SATURDAY, JANUARY 11:

Magistrates sitting in Exeter this morning sent the case to crown court on Monday (January 13). Finch did not appear before the court. The address given for the accused was in Briseham Close, Brixham.

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