Depressed Flintshire woman lit two fires in bedroom

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A WOMAN started two fires inside a bedroom where her partner was asleep, a court heard yesterday.

Beverley Ann Payne, 35, of Green Lane, Shotton, was depressed and had drunk vodka at the time.

Payne was due to be sentenced at Mold Crown Court yesterday morning.

She had earlier admitted a charge of arson, being reckless as to whether life would be endangered, following a fire at her home on November 9 last year.

Two psychiatric reports, a pre-sentence report and a letter from the complainant, her partner, were handed in to court yesterday.

But the case was adjourned after Judge Rhys Rowlands said there was no alternative to an immediate custodial sentence.

Defending barrister Debra White said another judge had said he hoped a hospital order could be made in her case.

That she argued could potentially raise the expectation of a non-custodial outcome in her client’s mind.

Judge Rowlands said he was not prepared to deal with the case in those circumstances.

He said he would be surprised if the earlier judge had indicated a non-custodial sentence would be passed in such a serious case.

The case would be adjourned until next month to go before the original judge where the matter could be argued out before him, he ruled.

“There were two sets of fire in the bedroom where her partner was asleep in bed,” the judge said.

It was a semi-detached house and three children were next door.

The arson had been committed against a background of a depressive illness when Payne had drunk half a bottle of vodka.

“This is an extremely serious matter which ordinarily attracts a significant custodial sentence,” he said.

“Whatever the views of her partner, she must expect custody on the next occasion,” said Judge Rowlands.

Payne was bailed to be sentenced in September.

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