Exeter man charged with arson after attack on Britain's third oldest synagogue

Shul dates back to 1764


A man has been charged with arson after an attempt was made to burn down the third oldest Synagogue in the country.

Tristan Morgan, 51, from Exeter, appeared before Exeter Magistrates Court on Monday, charged with arson, with the intent of endangering life.

He will appear before Exeter Crown Court in August.

The police were called to Exeter Synagogue on Saturday night, after reports that a man was attempting to ignite a liquid which had been poured into the Shul premises.

The synagogue, in Mary Arches Street in the Devon city, is one of the few in Britain over 250 years old, having been consecrated in 1764.

Superintendent Matthew Lawler, from Devon and Cornwall Police, said that the police were in “close contact” with the Shul authorities and that he had visited the synagogue at Tuesday lunchtime.

He also referred to a “really good, positive response from both the public and faith groups in Exeter in support of the Jewish community”. A joint statement is expected shortly.

A spokesperson for the Community Security Trust said: "On Saturday night CST received a report of an alleged arson attack at Exeter Synagogue.

"Thankfully nobody was injured and the damage to the building was not extensive. We have been in regular contact with the synagogue and police since receiving that report and we are grateful to the emergency services for their swift action."

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