‘Angry’ drunk jailed after setting fire to man’s home and threatening to stab him

James Bailey was sentenced to 4 years. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

James Bailey was sentenced to 4 years. Picture: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: NORFOLK CONSTABULARY

A drunk 28-year-old set fires outside the door of a man as revenge over a £40 drugs debt, a court has heard.

James Bailey, of Drymere, Swaffham, and another man fell out after Bailey was accused of owing money for cannabis.

Norwich Crown Court heard threats were made to Bailey and to his mother via text.

Laura Kenyon, prosecuting, said Bailey took it as a “threat of sexual assault against his mother” and “triggered the events that followed”.

Bailey sent a text to the complainant in which he said “I’m going to burn your house down”.


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The court heard Bailey went to the complainant’s address in Lyng while he and his partner were asleep and started fires outside the front door as well as a neighbouring address, which destroyed fairy lights and a memorial plaque to her late father.

Bailey also set fire to the complainant’s car, prompting him to run out and move it as he was “afraid the petrol tank might catch fire”.

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The defendant later returned to the scene and ran towards the complainant with a knife shouting “I’m going to stab you” prompting the victim to grab a metal pole.

Bailey sent texts to the complainant, stating “your house is on fire” and he would find him when he’s not looking and “when you least expect it”.

The defendant, who was drunk and had also taken diazepam and cannabis, also told the complainant: “I’m going to cut you up”.

He was later arrested by police and found to be over the legal drink drive limit.

Bailey appeared at court on Tuesday, November 17 via videolink for sentence having previously admitted two counts of arson with intent to endanger life on June 17 this year.

He also admitted affray, having a bladed article and driving with excess alcohol on the same date.

Jailing Bailey for a total of four years, Judge Katharine Moore said these were “extremely serious and frightening events”.

Judge Moore said Bailey had acted with “anger and resentment” and took “the law into your own hands” in trying to settle the issues he had with the complainant.

Nicholas Bleaney, mitigating, said he made a “staggeringly bad decision” but had “realised how serious his behaviour has been” and was now looking to do something about it, having taken part in drug and alcohol courses.

Bailey was also disqualified from driving for a total of 39 months.

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