A row over bar bill led to a major hotel blaze in London, a court was told.
A groom and his bride allegedly set the Peckforton Castle Hotel, near Tarporley, Cheshire, after heated arguments with the staff. A reception for the couple was going on at the hotel at the time of the incident.
Max Kay, 36, from Hunts Cross pleaded guilty of arson as he appeared at Chester Crown Court on Friday. The incident which occurred on June 19 caused a damage of £6 million to the hotel and resulted in the evacuation of 200 people including 11 children, the Independent has reported.
However, Kay denied a count of arson with intent to destroy or damage property and to endanger life, which was accepted by the prosecution. In a previous hearing, it was brought to the notice of the court that Kay and his wife had argued with the owners of the hotel over money.
Many of the guests were of Kay's own wedding party who had "taken alcohol to some extent or another" and were "obviously vulnerable," the Independent quoted Duncan Bould, prosecuting, as saying. On the other hand, Patrick Thompson, defending, said the defendant had been under "great personal strain" and was "near bankrupt".
A CCTV footage showed Kay entering and leaving the drawing room where the blaze started. The room had been set out for his next day wedding. Almost 100 firefighters had to be deployed to control the fire which engulfed the Grade 1-listed, 19 Century country house.
Max Kay is expected to be sentenced in February at Chester Crown Court .