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Lowestoft man cleared of arson charge after fire outside neighbour’s door

PUBLISHED: 16:24 19 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:24 19 October 2018

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: ARCHANT

A resident of a Suffolk block of flats accused of starting a fire outside a neighbour’s front door has been cleared by a jury.

Before Ipswich Crown Court was Stephen Hewitt, 63, of Pakefield Street, Lowestoft, who denied arson with intent to endanger the life of his neighbour Keith Allen and a less serious alternative charge of arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.

He was cleared of both offences.

The court heard that Mr Allen was asleep on a sofa in his third floor flat in Pakefield Street, Lowestoft, at 7am on November 17 last year and woke up to the smell of smoke.

He was unable to get out of his flat because the fire was right by the front door and he called the fire brigade.

He used a fire extinguisher to try and put out the blaze and shouted out of the window for help.

He was rescued by firemen and taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

The court heard that the alleged arson happened after Hewitt and Mr Allen fell out.

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