Man pleads guilty to starting fatal Aberystwyth hotel fire

A man has admitted to starting the fatal fire at Belgrave House Hotel in Aberystwyth that killed one guest.

Damion Harris, 31, of Llanbadarn Fawr, admitted manslaughter, arson and inflicting grievous bodily harm at Swansea Crown Court.

The fire which broke out on the 25 July last year led to firefighters rescuing nine adults and three children from the blaze, however one person was unaccounted for. Due to the damage of the property it was not until seven weeks after the blaze that the remains of Juozas Tunaitis, who had been working at Aberystwyth University as a fire safety officer, were recovered.

The guilty pleas were accepted by the prosecution, but the basis for those pleas has not yet been agreed. The judge has given Harris until Tuesday morning to decide whether or not he agrees with the prosecution’s version of events. If he does not agree, the judge will need to hear the evidence before deciding on the appropriate sentence.

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