Double-blow for arson-attack Woodford Green business

The Recorder has learned of a double blow for a Woodford Green business gutted by fire during the London riots last summer.

The Woodford Carpet Shop, in High Road, was close to going out of business after �24,000 of damage was caused in an arson attack.

But owner Tony Harris, 47, is not set to receive any compensation from the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPC), who are administering part of a �250million Home Office riots fund.

And Redbridge police have closed the investigation into the attack on his shop without any arrests because of insufficient evidence.

The MOPC told the Recorder on Tuesday that a claim for damage to the building from Mr Harris’ insurers had been rejected. A spokesman said: “The MOPC and the Met Police Service have received no further contact from Mr Harris, but would be happy to hear from him if he has outstanding concerns.”

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The shop only re-opened in January following an estimated �15,000 in building repairs and �9,000 loss of stock.

Mr Harris, who was unavailable to comment this week, has received no compensation from his insurers.

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The business kept going through the generosity of other local firms, he said recently.

A carpet shop in George Lane acted as a base while the shop was refurbished and letting agents pushed custom Mr Harris’ way.

It was thought the shop was petrol-bombed at about 2am on August 9 but police said on Tuesday waste material had been put through its letterbox and set alight.

A police spokesman said there is no CCTV recording of the attack and no witnesses have come forward.

He also believed no forensic evidence was recovered from the building.

He said: “If someone comes forward and says they’ve seen something, the case would be re-opened.”

Mr Harris said earlier: “I think in the heat of the moment, people got carried away.

“Old customers have been coming back and things are going OK.”

Anyone with information about the fire should call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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