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Family's devastation after new motorbike is torched by thief

PUBLISHED: 17:24 13 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:57 14 July 2019

The motorbike (right) which was stolen from Potters Resort car park in Hopton and set on fire at St Margaret's Ruined Church. PHOTO: Submitted.

The motorbike (right) which was stolen from Potters Resort car park in Hopton and set on fire at St Margaret's Ruined Church. PHOTO: Submitted.

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A family have called for justice after a three-month-old motorbike was stolen and set on fire under a medieval Norfolk church.

A motorbike was set on fire underneath the church building. Picture: Ian WallA motorbike was set on fire underneath the church building. Picture: Ian Wall

The bike, which had been bought with inheritance after the owner's grandfather passed away, had been parked at the Potters Resort car park, in Hopton, before being stolen shortly after 11pm on Thursday, July 11.

Norfolk Fire and Rescue service were then called to a blaze at the nearby St Margaret's Ruined Church after the motorbike was set on fire underneath the building.

The bike owner's mother Liz, from Lowestoft, said: "It is dreadful what has been done to the church and people are up in arms about it, but the damage was caused by the thug as a by-product of trying to destroy the evidence of having stolen this bike.

"My dad died and my son used the money he left to him to buy a motorbike so he had a way to get to and from work, and he has now lost that independence, and has lost his inheritance.

St Margaret’s Ruined Church in Hopton was torched in an arson attack in the early hours of Friday morning. Picture: Ian WallSt Margaret’s Ruined Church in Hopton was torched in an arson attack in the early hours of Friday morning. Picture: Ian Wall

"It has been quite a devastating blow to our family."

The bike was stolen around an hour and a half before firefighters were called.

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Liz said: "The bike had been parked in the car park at Potters and when my son finished work at 1.30am he found it was missing.

"Someone is on CCTV breaking the lock at 11.05pm. He couldn't get it started without the key so he wheels it away."

A spokesperson for Norfolk Police confirmed the blaze was caused by someone setting a motorbike alight, with officers continuing to investigate.

Liz said: "If anyone saw someone with the bike please come forward and report it so we can get some justice. There is a lot of hearsay going around on Facebook but it seems none of it has been reported to the police.

"Someone might have seen something and didn't realise that was what was happening.

"It is not a very big place, the bike was stolen about an hour-and-a-half before the fire, and it wasn't that late, so someone must have seen something. I want the people behind this brought to justice."

Anyone who saw the bike in the area is urged to call Norfolk Police on 101, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Last month, the church was targeted by vandals, with Hopton Parish Council saying the "tranquillity" of the church had been shattered.

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