A man will plead not guilty to arson over a fire which caused more than £2 million of damage to a well-known Michelin-starred restaurant, a court has heard.
Charles Birkett appeared at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday after being charged in connection with the blaze at the thatched 14th-century Star Inn at Harome, near Helmsley, North Yorkshire, in November 2021.
The 28-year-old, from Helmsley, spoke only to confirm his name, address and date of birth during the brief hearing.
Birkett was not asked to enter a plea to the charge of arson with recklessness as to whether property would be destroyed or life endangered, but his solicitor Damien Morrison indicated that he would be pleading not guilty.
The defendant was granted unconditional bail until his next appearance at York Crown Court on September 18.
The Star Inn has regularly featured in lists of the best restaurants and gastropubs since the arrival of chef and patron Andrew Pern more than 25 years ago.
The inn was rebuilt and reopened on the anniversary of the fire in 2022.
No-one was injured in the blaze, which saw more than 40 firefighters fight to save the building.
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