John Henry Sayers’ son speaks out after his business is targeted by arsonists

The son of notorious hardman John Henry Sayers has spoken out after his business was attacked by arsonists. Police are probing the blaze, at Saye's To Go food kiosk, on Newcastle's Northumberland Street, which started just after midnight on Tuesday. One end of the kiosk, which is run by John Henry Sayers Jnr, was severely damaged by the the flames.

Read more: Jack Woodley murder: No one else will be charged over stab death after five suspects released with no further action But today John Henry Jnr has vowed to get his business re-opened by the end of the week. And the 26-year-old has told of his relief that no one was hurt in the blaze.

He said: "I'm delighted to announce our reopening after this week's events.

We are just pleased that nobody was seriously hurt in this incident." Saye's To Go sells coffee, ice cream and other refreshments from its kiosk at the Blackett Street end of Northumberland Street. Northumbria Police has confirmed the incident is being investigated.

No arrests have made made so far. A spokeswoman said: "Shortly before 12.05am today we received a report of a food van on fire on Northumberland Street, Newcastle.

John Henry Sayers Jr has spoken out after his business was torched on Northumberland Street in NewcastleJohn Henry Sayers Jr has spoken out after his business was torched on Northumberland Street in Newcastle

"Emergency services attended and the fire was extinguished. Thankfully no-one was injured.

"We are treating this as a suspected arson and an investigation has been launched. Anyone with information is asked to contact police." A Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service spokesman, said: "We received a call about a coffee van on fire on Northumberland Street in Newcastle.

Two crews, one from Byker and one from Newcastle Central Community Fire Stations, were on the scene in just five minutes to extinguish the fire. "Thankfully no-one was injured and our crews left the scene at 12.13am. We believe this fire was started deliberately and are supporting Northumbria Police in their investigation."

On Tuesday the kiosk was still cordoned off with police tape. But John Henry Jnr said it would reopen on Friday. The Chronicle told earlier this year how Saye's To Go sparked a new spat between the Sayers family and Northumbria Police after John Henry Jnr applied for a licence to sell alcohol from the kiosk.

Fire damage at the kioskFire damage at the kiosk

He had hoped to sell mulled wine and hot toddies to city centre shoppers over the festive period.

But the plan was met with fierce opposition from Northumbria Police, whose officers claimed it should not be allowed to go ahead because of John Henry Jnr's father's infamous record in Newcastle's criminal underworld. The licensing application was eventually withdrawn after police alleged that it might pave the way for a bar that could be a "legitimate front" for organised crime, despite John Henry Jnr arguing he had no convictions and it was not his father's business.

John Henry SayersJohn Henry Sayers

John Henry Snr and his brothers, Stephen and Michael, earned a reputation as Tyneside's most notorious hardmen in the 1990s. But they have since pledged to put their criminal pasts behind them.

The arson at Saye's To Go comes just three months after a dramatic attack at John Henry Snr's home in Byker, Newcastle. The dad-of-six was at home with his children when the incident happened, on Thursday June 16.

Three men with their arms around each otherJohn Henry, Stephen and Michael Sayers at John Henry's damaged home

A video circulating on WhatsApp showed two black cars pull up outside the property, on the Fossway, before at least four men jumped out carrying what appeared to be baseball bats. They smashed windows at Sayers' home and attack cars outside, while shouting and swearing.

Other footage showed a vehicle being driven directly at Sayers, who escaped serious injury by jumping out of the way onto a parked car. Sayers did not call police himself, but it is understood officers were quickly on the scene. In the days and weeks that followed Byker arrested 20 people in connection with the incident.

Nine were held on suspicion of conspiracy to murder, and eight on suspicion of attempted murder. After the incident John Henry, Stephen and Michael stood outside the damaged home to take a picture. Stephen posted it on Facebook with the caption 'Three brothers'.

Anyone with information about the arson attack should call Northumbria Police on 101 quoting log NP-20220920-0001.

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