Car mechanic left counting the cost after arson attack

Burnt out cars ar towed away from Rooster's Auto Repairs, Edinburgh Road, Jedburgh.
Burnt out cars ar towed away from Rooster's Auto Repairs, Edinburgh Road, Jedburgh.

A Jedburgh car mechanic targeted by an overnight arson attack has vowed to carry on despite the feared cost to his business and reputation.

Rhys Jackson says he was “raging” to find three burned-out vehicles outside his Edinburgh Road garage, Rooster’s Auto Repairs, on Tuesday morning.

Police were called by a member of staff at the nearby Riverside Caravan Park after flames engulfed Ford and Vauxhall van and a silver Renault Clio car at around 4am.

“The first I heard of it was when police called me that morning, and I was absolutely raging,” the father of one said. “The lady from the caravan park said she had no idea what was happening,

“All she saw were huge flames and a man running up and down with no clothes on.

“What would have happened if this had happened 20 feet away to a caravan?”

Rhys says one van was due to be scrapped and the second was being used for parts, but the car was a gift for his partner, Carley Bennet.

“I’d spent a bit of money on getting the car going right and now it’s completely gone.” he said. “It’s fine and well claiming on my insurance, but that just makes it dearer next year.

“And it not just that – it’s the mess that was left for me to clear up. It looked awful.

“It’s been an absolute nightmare and a headache for me to deal with. How many customers am I going to lose now with not being able to safely leave their cars outside my garage?”

The mechanic of nine years trained alongside his uncle Dave Scott in St Boswells before going it alone with his MOT preparation, servicing and general repairs business 18 months ago.

“It’s hard enough to get trade as it is as a 25-year-old,” he added. “I took a big gamble when I came in here.

“If that had been a customer’s car, I would have shut the doors and walked away. It would have ruined me.”

A police spokeswoman said: “Police were called to a report of a man causing a disturbance in Edinburgh Road.

“The man was taken to hospital for assessment. Inquiries are continuing.”