Arsonist jailed for flat fire

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A WIGAN man who started a bedsit fire has been jailed for 34 months.

A court heard the flat was part of large house on The Avenue, Leigh, and the same night another blaze broke out on the floor below.

But a judge was told David Miller was only accused of the minor fire and no one has been charged with the other, which caused £49,000 damage, but may have been started accidentally.

While on bail for the arson, Miller burgled a house in Bolton, which was undergoing refurbishment, and stole £1,200 of fittings, said Harry Pepper, prosecuting.

Jailing him for 30 months for the fire, with four months consecutive for burglary, Judge David Swift said that having lost control while drunk Miller had lit a newspaper on the floor. He added: “The risk engendered by any house fire was clear and obvious. ”

Miller, of Woodcock Drive, Platt Bridge, admitted arson being reckless whether life was endangered, and burglary.

Mr Pepper told Liverpool Crown Court the fire started after Miller and another resident fell out. In the early hours a couple in the house heard Miller moving around in his flat and shortly after he was heard leaving the fire alarm sounded.

It was found that smoke was coming from a lit newspaper on the floor of Miller’s premises, and a fire extinguisher was used to put it out. The damage was limited to the carpet and scorching of the floor beneath. Residents were evacuated and Miller later found with matches and two lighters.

His defence counsel said Miller had a drink problem, had been upset about the argument, but thought he had put the fire out.