Bognor man charged with murder after death of arson victim

A man has been charged with murder after a deliberate fire in Oak Grove last month

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 5:16 pm
Updated Friday, 14th May 2021, 11:08 am
The scene of the incident in Bognor

Aaron Wilks, 37, unemployed, of Ash Grove, Bognor Regis, has been charged with the murder of Mark Stoakes, 60, who died in hospital three weeks after an arson attack outside his home in Oak Grove.

The attack took place at 8:20pm on April 8 and Mr Stoakes was taken to hospital with serious burns. He died on April 30. Mr Wilks was originally charged with attempted murder but the charge has now changed to murder.

Mr Wilks is also being charged with arson for damaging a gate owned by Mr and Mrs Stoakes and for unlawfully or maliciously casting an accelerant at Mrs Stoakes, with intent to burn, maim, disfigure or disable her or to do some grievous bodily harm to her. Both incidents took place on April 8.

He has also been accused of blackmail for an incident which occurred on January 31 and for having an article with a blade or point after possessing a meat cleaver in a public place, namely Oak Grove, on the same date. Alongside this, he is being charged of criminal damage for damaging a CCTV camera owned by Mr and Mrs Stoakes on February 9.

Mr Wilks is due to appear at Portsmouth Crown Court on Monday (May 17).

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