A 65-YEAR-OLD man accused of starting a fire which caused £25,000 of damage at a Bridgwater block of flats will appear at crown court in the new year.

The Mercury reported how five elderly people were rescued after the fire at Eastwood Close in the early hours of August 5.

Francis Payne, who is currently living in the Broadway Park mental health unit, is charged with arson.

Following an initial hearing at Taunton Deane Magistrates’ Court this month, the case was moved to Taunton Crown Court, where Mr Payne is due to enter a plea on January 7.