A 28-year-old man accused of starting a fire that caused more than £2m of damage to Andrew Pern's Michelin-starred Star Inn at Harome pub will seek to have the charges against him dropped, a court has heard.
Charles Birkett appeared at York Crown Court this morning (18 September) to face charges of arson with recklessness as to whether property would be destroyed or life endangered.
He was not asked to enter a plea and the case was adjourned for trial on 1 July 2024.
However, the charges against Birkett could be dropped earlier if an application to dismiss them is successful. A hearing for this to be considered has been scheduled for 19 February 2024.
No-one was injured in the blaze at the thatched 14th-century property near Helmsley, North Yorkshire, which took nine fire crews many hours to bring under control in November 2021.
The Star Inn reopened a year later after the Grade I-listed building was restored and rebuilt, with the cost of the works covered by insurance.
Pern opened the pub in 1996 and it won a Michelin Bib Gourmand in 1998. In 2002, it became the second-ever gastropub to win a star in the Michelin Guide Great Britain and Ireland.
The team won Menu of the Year at the 1997 Cateys and the Newcomer Award the following year, and Andrew and Jacquie Pern won Pub and Bar Operator of the Year in the 2002 Cateys.
Birkett was granted unconditional bail until his next court appearance.