Hastings man arrested on suspicion of murder following fatal house fire

A Hastings man has been arrested in connection with a double fatal house fire in Eastbourne.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 11:07 am
The arson attack claimed the lives of Gina Ingles and her son Milo Ingles-Bailey. Picture: Sussex Police

The investigation relates to an arson attack at a property in Croxden Way on July 10, 2018, which claimed the lives of Gina Ingles, 34, and her son Milo Ingles-Bailey, four.

A second person has also been arrested, while a third man in Portugal has been interviewed, police said.

Officers made the arrests as part of a week of action relating to the Operation Druffield murder investigation, according to police.

Gina’s partner Toby Jarrett, 27, was also in the house at the time of the fire, but managed to escape through a first floor window. He sustained serious burn injuries and was taken to hospital for treatment.

A police spokesman said: “On Tuesday (December 10), as part of the ongoing investigation into this tragic incident, detectives arrested a 41-year-old man from Hastings on suspicion of murder, and a 27-year-old man from Eastbourne on suspicion of conspiracy to murder. Both were interviewed and subsequently released under investigation while enquiries continue.”

The police spokesman said detectives from the Major Crime Team also travelled to Portugal during the week and, with the assistance of the Portuguese authorities, interviewed a further suspect who is already in prison in Portugal for an unrelated offence.

Detective Inspector Gordon Denslow said: “The Surrey and Sussex Major Crime Team continues to pursue those responsible for this horrific crime, and will do so relentlessly on behalf of Gina and Milo’s family, who continue to grieve for the loss of their daughter and grandson.

“This is a significant development in this investigation. In addition to these arrests, we have also interviewed a number of other people who we think may know something about what happened on that tragic day in July 2018, and they are helping us with our enquiries. We are working closely with the Portuguese authorities, and will release further information when we are able to.

“I’d like to thank the community for their continued support, and encourage anyone with any information at all to please come forward. Help us find out who is responsible for the death of a vulnerable four-year-old boy and his young mother.”

Police said two local men, aged 47 and 23, were previously arrested on suspicion of two counts of murder and one of attempted murder – the 23-year-old remains released under investigation pending further enquiries; the 47-year-old was released without charge and will face no further action.

As the investigation continues, detectives are keen to identify the two people seen in the attached CCTV footage, who may hold vital information about the fire.