THE man accused of arson at a Northwich school told prosecutors they should be investigating his wife and son, a court has heard.

Philip Day, 55, is on trial charged with arson at UCAN – now Rudheath Senior Academy – in the early hours of February 25, 2018.

The school building was badly damaged after 20 seats of fire were set, and prosecutors say this is similar to a fire at a house in Essex two months prior, which Mr Day is also charged with along with a burglary at the same address.

But, a jury at Chester Crown Court has been told, Mr Day asked police why his wife and son had not been investigated during a failed application to dismiss the case in May last year.

The prosecution, which closed its case on Monday, says Mr Day started both fires.

The also say a man was seen and captured on CCTV holding a jerry can near UCAN on the morning of the fire.

A red Volvo was then seen to drive away from the scene near where the man was last sighted – a car which was registered to Mr Day’s wife and on which he was an insured driver.

Officer in the case DC Paul Cundy, of Northwich CID, told a jury that Mr Day was, despite his calls to investigate family members, the only suspect in the case.

Asked whether there were any other lines of inquiry at the time Mr Day was arrested at his home address in Saltash Close, Runcorn, DC Cundy said: “Not at the time.

“It was suggested by you in an application to dismiss that we should be speaking to your wife and son. That was done, and there were no other lines of inquiry in relation to the Northwich arson.

“It was an ongoing process. We were always looking and keeping an open mind, but there were no other suspects identified other than yourself.”

Mr Day had previously asked DC Cundy why he was a suspect, with the officer citing his previous dealings with the school as a main factor.

The jury has heard evidence of Mr Day’s lengthy campaign against UCAN, which he says was – along with Cheshire Police and other bodies – harbouring a ‘paedophile ring’.

He uploaded a series of campaign posts and videos to Facebook calling for ‘the truth’, and attended two school events which prompted ‘lockdown’ safety procedures.

He is also on trial for the stalking of two members of staff – headteacher Cath Green and a teacher whom he says sexually assaulted a pupil.

DNA samples taken from around UCAN after the fire yielded no positive identifications, the jury heard. Mr Day remained silent during an hour-long police interview following his arrest on February 25.

It was incorrectly put to Mr Day during the interview that he was the registered keeper of the car.

He faces charges of stalking, arson and burglary. He denies all charges. The trial continues.