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Bungalow tanker crash man remanded

A man has appeared in court charged with a string of offences after a fuel tanker crashed into the front of his family's bungalow.

Hugh Billington, 51, appeared charged with arson with intent to endanger life; arson reckless as to whether life was endangered; assault by beating; dangerous driving and theft.

Billington, a lorry driver, spoke only to confirm his personal details. He was arrested on Friday following the incident in Wool, Dorset, at the bungalow he and his wife Christine own, the court heard.

Magistrates in Weymouth, Dorset, heard that Mrs Billington was in the bungalow's kitchen when the tanker, loaded with kerosene, crashed through the front of the house.

Mrs Billington, who is understood to run a dog grooming business from the house, was "safe and well" but the bungalow suffered "significant" damage in the blaze, police said at the time.

Bald-headed Billington, who gave his address as "no fixed abode", made no application for bail and was remanded in custody to appear at Dorchester Crown Court on January 31.

The court heard that at the time of the incident he was on bail, having been charged with common assault following allegations of an attack on his wife. He faces a hearing via videolink at Weymouth Magistrates Court on January 31 for that charge.

Around 30 firefighters tackled the blaze at the couple's bungalow, which was brought under control in about an hour in the morning of January 20.

Pictures released by the fire service show the tanker crashed into the front of the bungalow, having smashed through the front wall and a set of windows.

The front door of the bungalow has been removed and the blaze can be seen to have ripped through the house out towards the back garden.

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