Arsonist, 34, is jailed for setting fire to fishing units and attacking East Devon pub customers

An arsonist from East Devon who set fire to seafront fishing units after brawling in a pub in Beer has been jailed for three years.

Dean Heron, aged 34, of Fore Street, Seaton, appeared at Exeter Crown Court on Tuesday (November 15) after admitting arson, plus three counts of assault and two counts of affray, following an attack on pub-goers in June 2022.

Jailed Heron, who went on to set fire to fishing units in Sea Hill, Beer, after fighting in the Barrel of Beer pub, has been banned from entering the East Devon village on his release, and ordered not to contact one of his victims for five years.

East Devon

Jailed: Dean Heron, aged 34, of Fore Street, Seaton, appeared at Exeter Crown Court on Tuesday (November 15) after admitting arson, three counts of assault and two counts of affray following an attack on pub-goers in June 2022.
Photo: with permission.

Police investigating the attacks by Heron on the community thanked the public for helping to secure the court conviction.

Detective Constable Michele Green, from Exeter CID, said: “I would like to thank the community of Beer for coming together to support police and provide evidence of the offences that Heron committed during the evening of Wednesday 15 June.

“The strength of the evidence secured an early guilty plea, thus saving the victims from having to give evidence at trial.

“The arson has caused thousands of pounds worth of damage, impacted businesses and people’s livelihoods, not to mention the loss of many sentimental items.

“I would personally like to thank the community in allowing me to speak with them and providing me with impact statements which detail the losses they suffered.

“It will take time to recover, but the strength of community spirit with help them through. This is an isolated incident and Beer remains a beautiful place in Devon to live and visit.”

The court heard how on Wednesday, June 15, Heron stepped into the Barrel of Beer, in Fore Street, launched an attack on two people, turned his rage on a tourist – injuring the man – while causing ‘fear and panic’ in the pub.

After the brawl he walked to Sea Hill and deliberately set fire to fishing units, which spread to other buildings – causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.

East Devon

The blaze at the commercial premises in Beer.
Photo: Colyton Fire Station.

A Devon and Cornwall Police spokesperson said: “Dean Heron appeared at Exeter Crown Court on Tuesday 15 November where he was sentenced to three years in prison and given a five-year restraining order not to contact one of the victims and not to attend Beer, Devon, upon release.

“The 34-year-old of Fore Street, Seaton, was charged on Thursday 16 June with arson, three counts of assault and two counts of affray.

“Heron pleaded guilty to the charges on Friday 17 June after being remanded in custody.”

They added: “Heron had entered the Barrel of Beer public house in Beer and launched an assault on two people which resulted in no injury.

“He then assaulted a tourist who was sat enjoying a drink with his partner which caused fear and panic throughout the pub. The tourist received a minor injury.

“After committing the assaults, Heron walked to Sea Hill and intentionally set alight the fisherman’s units, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.”

  • Police said anyone affected by Heron’s actions can contact the force’s victim care unit on 01392 475900.

 

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