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Pair jailed for starting fire in block of flats
9:30am Friday 15th June 2012 in News
A JUDGE told two men who started fires in an empty flat in Orford their actions could have had ‘catastrophic consequences’.
Thomas Morley and Liam Brown, who started the blaze in Peninsula House, O’Leary Street, were told by Judge Roger Dutton: “Playing with fire is always a serious and grave matter.
“To set fire to a flat in a building which has more than 100 people inside could have had the most devastating consequences.”
Morley, of Lewis Court, Howley, and Brown, of Bruce Avenue, Orford, also assaulted a resident of the flats on February 1.
Warrington Crown Court heard on Friday how Morley and Brown banged on the window of Gareth Bolds’ flat at 5am aggressively demanding to be let into the building.
Mark Connor, prosecuting, said: “He let them in after they had assured him they were not there to cause trouble.”
The pair disappeared upstairs.
Resident Susan Barcock was woken by her smoke alarm and found her kitchen cupboard full of smoke.
She raced downstairs to find the door of the flat below open, the oven and hob switched on and the remains of a smouldering fire in the living room.
As 20-year-old Morley and 25-year-old Brown were leaving they were approached by Mr Bolds who told them their noise had woken his baby.
Mr Connor added: “Morley said ‘what are you going to do about it’ and punched him.”
He was left with a fractured cheekbone after also being kicked and punched.
Simon Berkson, defending Morley, said: “He is ashamed of his behaviour. He has said it was ‘the worst mistake I have ever made’.”
Michael Davies, defending Brown, added: “He deeply regrets what he has done. He was very drunk on the night in question.
“To wake up the next morning with the horrible realisation of what he had done was a shock to him.”
The pair pleaded guilty to arson and actual bodily harm and were given 16-month sentences for each offence to run consecutively.