Arsonists torch home of Northampton student who was left paralysed by falling Wilko paint pots

An aerial shot showing the burned out roof of the building in Glenfield, Leicestershire.
An aerial shot showing the burned out roof of the building in Glenfield, Leicestershire.
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Detectives are hunting for arsonists who caused £500,000 worth of damage when they set fire to the new home of a Northampton student paralysed in an accident at Wilko.

University of Northampton student Corisande Collins, 23, was working part-time at a Leicester branch of the store when she was crushed under hundreds of pots of paint in August 2013.

She suffered severe spinal injuries and was left wheelchair bound after being paralysed from the waist down.

The retail giant was fined £2.2 million on January 11 after it pleaded guilty to health and safety offences.

Police have now revealed Corisande's house was torched as it was being adapted for her needs on November 27 last year.

The fire caused extensive damage to the house in Glenfield, Leicester, which resulted in her move into the property being significantly delayed.

Dramatic aerial pictures show the majority roof of the home has been destroyed by the blaze with just a black shell remaining.

Leicestershire Police said "extensive enquiries" have been carried out to try to identify those responsible for the fire.

The force also revealed an anonymous donor has offered a £5,000 reward for information that leads detectives to the culprits.

Detective Constable Natasha Batstone said: "The victim has been left extremely devastated by what's happened, the renovation work was due to end soon.

"She's had to remain in accommodation not suited for her needs for a much longer period of time due to the extensive damage.

"Someone out there knows who's responsible for the fire and we would urge them to come forward.

"If you have any information, no matter how insignificant it may seem, please get in touch.

"If the information you provide leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible, you may be eligible for the reward."

Large sections of the roof and a lift shaft that was under construction were severely damaged in the blaze.

More than 20 firefighters took two hours to bring the fire under control after flames were spotted at the back of the property shortly before midnight.

When Wilko Retail Ltd was sentenced, Leicester Crown Court heard it would take more than a year to rebuild the house.

Judge Ebraham Mooncey said Corisande had been victim of a "mindless wicked arson attack".

He added: "I hope good progress has been made to repair and renovate the house so that Miss Collins will be able to make full use of that accommodation to ease some of the suffering.

"I hope Corisande and her family continue the fortitude they've shown and their suffering is eased as much as possible."

The court had heard Corisande was a 20-year-old first-year student at the University of Northampton when she was injured at the Wilko store in Beaumont Leys, Leicester.

She was crushed when an overloaded roll cage weighing 35 stone (222kg) toppled on top of her.

She spent several weeks at Coventry's Walsgrave Hospital after the accident, before being transferred to the spinal injuries unit in Sheffield.

Corisande was discharged in December 2013 - four months after the incident - and returned part time to her university course 18 months after suffering her injury.

Wilko Retail Ltd - which has almost 400 stores and 21,680 staff nationwide -was fined £2.2 million and ordered to pay £70,835 in legal costs.

The company had previously pleaded guilty to four offences under the Health and Safety Act.

Dramatic aerial pictures show the majority roof of Corisande Collins' home has been destroyed by the blaze.

Dramatic aerial pictures show the majority roof of Corisande Collins' home has been destroyed by the blaze.

Retail giant Wilko was fined 2.2 million for breaching health and safety laws.

Retail giant Wilko was fined 2.2 million for breaching health and safety laws.