December 12 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
A woman who poured petrol through a letter box and started a fire at terraced council house while two women slept upstairs has been jailed for five years.
The two occupants were awoken by the smoke alarm in their home in Garden Close, Bungay and managed to escape with their dog as the premises quicly filled with smoke, Ipswich Crown Court heard.
Before the court was Sonya Knights, 47, of Pleasant Place, Beccles who admitted arson and being reckless as to whether lives would be endangered on December 3 last year.
Jailing her for five years Recorder Richard Atchley said there was a background of animosity between Knights and the women who lived in the house where the fire was started.
He said that if the smoke alarm at the premises hadn’t been working the consequences of what Knights did could have been much more serious.
Peter Gair, prosecuting said Knights was seen on CCTV footage trying to set light to cars in the street before she started the fire at the house in Garden Close.
He said that after fleeing the house the two women who lived there had raised the alarm and a small fire by the front door was extinguished by a neighbour using water from a kettle.
Damage valued at £944 was caused to the double glazed door and door frame by the fire.
Andrew Thompson for Knights said there had been a deterioration in her mental health prior to the arson attack. Since the incident she had been remanded in custody at her own request and following psychiatric intervention she had made a good recovery.
He said there was a background of ill feeling between Knights and the women who lived in the house. However she had not intended to harm them and had been “making a point”.
He said Knights had expressed remorse and realised how serious the consequences of her actions could have been.