A man has been remanded in custody and is due to appear before Exeter Crown Court on 23 August charged with arson at the city’s synagogue, which is the third oldest in the UK.
Tristan Morgan, 51, appeared before Exeter Magistrates Court in Devon on Monday and did not enter a plea. He was arrested after a man was caught on CCTV pouring “an accelerant” into the shul and trying to light it.
No-one was hurt in the incident, which occurred on Saturday evening at 8pm, and the damage to the building was minimal. Morgan has been charged with “arson, with the intent of endangering life”.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said officers “are meeting synagogue staff to update them on the investigation and provide local reassurance”.
The 250-year old synagogue is located in Mary Arches, within the city’s oldest district, and was originally built for Dutch Jewish traders, although the first Jewish presence in the city was recorded in 1181.
The Community Security Trust (CST) was alerted to the incident in the hours that followed. A spokesman said: “Thankfully nobody was injured and damage was not extensive. A man has been arrested but the motive is not yet known. We thank the emergency services for their swift action and remain in contact with police.”