Man, 60, who suffered burns in Bognor Regis assault dies in hospital

A man who suffered burns in a deliberate fire in Bognor Regis has died in hospital.

Monday, 3rd May 2021, 9:16 am

Officers were called to Oak Grove around 8.15pm on Thursday, April 8, following reports of a deliberate fire in the front garden of a property, police said. Mark Stoakes, 60, was taken to hospital where he died on Friday, April 30.

District commander, Chief Inspector Jon Carter said: “This was a horrific incident that would have shocked many in the community and I extend my condolences to Mark Stoakes’ family and friends.

“The investigation team have worked tirelessly and a man has been charged and is awaiting trial.

The scene of the incident in Bognor
The scene of the incident in Bognor

“Together with our partners we are working hard to tackle crime, and particularly violent crime, in Arun. We are refocusing our patrols to provide additional visibility in key areas to combat this.

“Although it’s important to provide a visible policing presence, we also very much need your support in keeping the community safe.”

He urged anyone who is a victim or witness of criminal or suspicious behaviour to report it directly to Sussex Police on 101 or through the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

A police spokeswoman added: “Aaron Wilks, 37, unemployed, of Ash Grove, Bognor Regis, will appear at Portsmouth Crown Court on 7 May to face charges of grievous bodily harm, arson and throwing / casting an explosive substance with intent to burn / maim / disfigure / disable / do grievous bodily harm.

The scene of the incident in Bognor

“He was also charged with criminal damage, blackmail and possession of a bladed article in relation to two separate incidents.

“Following the death of Mr Stoakes, Sussex Police are in liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to the current charges.”