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Update: Two staff members in court over Flintshire pub blaze

TWO members of staff charged with arson after a Flintshire pub was gutted in a blaze have appeared in court.

Head chef and kitchen manager Clinton Stephen, 31, and assistant manager Christopher Drake, 21, appeared in custody before a court on Tuesday (February 8).

They are charged with causing half a million pounds worth of damage at The Running Hare at St David’s Park in Ewloe on Sunday (February 6).

Both are further charged with damaging a fruit machine and stealing £600 in cash, belonging to Marston’s Inns, which owns the pub.

The pair are charged with perverting the course of justice amid allegations that they gave North Wales Police false information.

At Flintshire Magistrates Court their case was djourned, and the co-accused will appear at Mold Crown Court next week.

Stephen – of Church Court, Ashton Hayes, near Chester – was bailed to live at his parents’ address in Tennyson Walk in Blacon, Chester.

Drake, who lived at The Running Hare, was bailed to an address at Discombe Drive in Meols, Wirral.

The £3m ‘super pub’ was opened on St David’s Park in August.

In the early hours of Sunday emergency services were called to a fire in the bar area of the pub, which employs about 60 members of staff.

Fire crews from Deeside and Buckley raced to the scene after an emergency call at 5.07am.

A joint fire and police investigation was launched into the blaze.

The pub is currently closed and is not expected to open before the start of April.