Man, 70, jailed for arson attack on his own home


Rory Sheehan

A PENSIONER who torched a carpet and threw a brick through the window of his own home, has been jailed for 16 weeks.

Albert Evans, 70, of no fixed abode, was living in shared accomodation in Second Avenue, Llay at the time of the offence.

Wrexham Magistrates Court heard that on June 3, Evans used a carrier bag and cigarette lighter to set fire to the carpet and lino at the top of the stairs, causing damage totalling £500.

Two days later, he drunkenly abused other residents and when the landlord arrived, Evans threw punches at him, but no formal complaint was made.

The landlord subsequently locked Evans out of the property and went to collect his belongings upstairs.

He then saw Evans standing outside throwing a brick through a window, causing £130 worth of damage.

Evans admitted what he had done to police, but said he did it to warn the landlord that other residents were harrassing him. He did not know if any other residents were present at the time of the arson, and atmitted he had thrown the brick after he had been drinking.

Magistrate Paul Galloway said: “You are going to prison due to the seriousness of the crime. Although you thought what you did was small, it could have spiralled out of control.

“You felt justified by what you had done, and that is not the attitude we expect of a reasonable person.”

A probation report revealed that he had served in the army from 1964 to 1974, and suffered terrible experiences which stayed with him, contributing to a drink problem, and a long list of offending.

Ceri Evans, defending, said: “He’s realistic and knows the only route open to the court is prison. He was honest with the police and has since written an apologetic note to the residents who could have been harmed by his actions.

“It is sad that he has recently passed his 70th birthday in custody, as he can be a likeable, pleasant but sometimes impulsive person to deal with.

“He had been placed in premises perhaps not suitable to his needs by the authorities, with younger people involved in the criminal justice system.

“He genuinely felt he had been harrassed. He is now effectively homeless.”

Evans, who admitted arson on June 3 and damage two days later, did not receive any seperate penalty for the criminal damage and no order was made for either costs or compensation.

See full story in the Leader

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