A man has admitted starting a fire which caused in excess of £150,000-worth of damage to a barn near Sutton Coldfield.
Police and fire fighters from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service were called at around 4pm on 3 August to Weeford Park Farm on London Road.
Officers discovered a large fire involving about 300 hay bales and gas canisters in a barn at the site, with smoke affecting visibility on the A38 northbound during rush hour.
A total of six fire appliances attended and officers were present at the scene overnight.
Nathan Roe, aged 27, of Piccadilly, Tamworth, was subsequently arrested and later charged with arson and dangerous driving, after failing to stop for officers.
The court heard how Roe, who had driven away from the scene, had led officers on a chase of a significant distance before being detained.
Roe appeared at Stafford Crown Court on 3 September where he pleaded guilty to one count of arson and one count of dangerous driving.
He was remanded in custody ahead of sentencing, which is due at Stafford Crown Court on 10 November 2021.
Speaking following Roe’s conviction, Detective Constable Richard Cooper of Staffordshire Police’s CID, who was the officer in the case, said: “Roe posed a serious threat to not only people who live and work in the area, but also drivers on the A38, when he intentionally started this large fire.
“Police and fire fighter resources were heavily committed throughout the night and subsequent days, as a result of his actions, which caused more than £150,000-worth of damage to property.
“Roe tried to evade police when officers approached him, close to his home address, and led them on a chase over a significant distance – further endangering lives, before he was detained.
“A team of investigative officers secured charges from the Crown Prosecution Service, ensuring a remand in to custody could be achieved, to prevent Roe from causing any further harm or disturbance to the public.
“I hope his conviction brings some closure to those affected by his actions that day.”
Rob Barber, Chief Fire Officer of Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service is pleased to see this conviction.
"Actions such as these have a significant impact upon local communities and put our fire fighters at risk.
"Thanks to colleagues at Staffordshire Police for all of the hard work that has gone into achieving this outcome."