Norwich woman sentenced following string of arson attacks

Jane Durrant. Picture: Norfolk Police Jane Durrant. Picture: Norfolk Police

Friday, June 27, 2014
1:40 PM

A 51-year-old woman has been given a suspended prison sentence and a Criminal Anti-Social Behaviour Order (CRASBO) following a string of arson attacks in Norwich.

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Jane Durrant, of Barclay Road, Norwich, was charged with 25 counts of arson in January 2014. She pleaded guilty to seven counts at an earlier hearing whilst the remaining charges will lay on file.

The charges relate to incidents which happened across the city between August 2013 and January 2014, in which she set fire to items such as wheelie bins, skips, an electricity box, a shed and life buoys.

In one incident, Durrant entered the grounds of an address in Thunder Lane and set fire to a wheelie bin in a bin store by the front gates. It destroyed the bin and the bin store which housed the electricity mains point for the property, causing the owners to be without electricity for one month and an estimated £15,000 worth of damage.

Durrant was sentenced at Norwich Crown Court today. She was given a 21 month prison sentence (suspended for 24 months), a 21 month supervision order and a three year CRASBO.

The conditions of the CRASBO state that Durrant must reside at her home address between the hours of 9pm and 7am unless accompanied by an adult over the age of 18; she is not to be in possession of any accelerants which could be used to commit fire; and she is prohibited from entering the Anderson’s Meadow area of Norwich.

PC Mike Larkin, who has been leading the investigation, said: “Jane Durrant’s behaviour was reckless and with no thought or regard for anyone or anything and today’s sentence reflects that and the judge made it clear that if she breaches these orders, she will go back in front of the courts and will go to prison.

“Today is the culmination of an 18 month investigation and we have worked extremely hard with the fire service and other partner agencies to gather the evidence needed to seek justice.

“Thankfully no one was seriously hurt in any of the incidents and it is important for people to realise the seriousness of these small fires, how quickly they can get out of control and the risk to life it causes.”

Stuart Horth, Head of Community Safety at Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Arson is a crime and one that has regularly caused death, injury and damage beyond the expectation of the arsonist.

“We have been continually improving our capability to establish how deliberate fires are started and by who. This is another example of where our close working with the Police is helping to prevent this reckless crime and ensure those who commit it are identified.”

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