Arsonist pleads guilty to setting fire to flat in Blackman Way - The Rugby Observer

Arsonist pleads guilty to setting fire to flat in Blackman Way

AN ARSONIST who put his neighbours’ lives at risk when he started a blaze which caused £10,000 worth of damage to his rented second-floor flat has been remanded in custody.

Matthew Slack pleaded not guilty at Warwick Crown Court to arson at his flat in Carolyn Lane Court, Blackman Way, Rugby, with intent to endanger the lives of others.

But Slack, 47, pleaded guilty to an alternative charge of arson being reckless whether lives would be endangered at the flat on the top floor of the three-storey block.

His pleas were accepted by prosecutor Graeme Simpson, who said the blaze at lunchtime on July 18 caused an estimated £10,000 worth of damage.

Commenting on pictures showing flames and smoke billowing out of one of the windows, Deputy Judge Michael Stokes said: “From the photographs, that’s quite a cheap price for putting it right.”

Three fire engines rushed to the scene after it was reported, and on arrival saw flames from the top floor of the building. Firefighters using breathing apparatus and a thermal imaging camera had to enter the flat to tackle the fire.

Nobody was home at the time, and residents from neighbouring buildings were evacuated. The fire caused smoke damage throughout the property.

The fire caused an estimated £10,000 worth of damage. (s)

Andrew Tucker, defending, said Slack has suffered from depression, and acknowledged: “I know Your Honour would want a psychiatric report before sentencing.”

Judge Stokes agreed, and adjourned the case for one to be prepared, which it is expected will take up to two months, and remanded Slack in custody.

The judge also ordered that a copy of the psychiatric report should be forwarded to the probation service for them to consider when preparing a pre-sentence report on Slack.


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