Susan Cox, 55, of Framingham Earl burgled and set fire to deceased 96-year-old man’s home in Poringland
- Credit: Archant
A woman destroyed the home of a 96-year-old man who had died by setting fire to it after a burglary, leaving his family 'devastated'.
Susan Cox, 55, broke into the empty bungalow in The Street, Poringland and set alight the sofa, so fire spread through the property.
The blaze left the house as a burnt out shell and destroyed treasured items which belonged to pensioner Leonard Cannon, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Brian Reece, prosecuting, said the bungalow had been on the market for £200,000 and recently had an offer accepted on it by the family when Cox started the blaze.
Mr Reece said the family received an insurance payout of £121,000 but had been put through a lot of stress and extra expense as a result of the fire, as the bungalow was beyond repair and will have to be demolished.
The family also lost many items of sentimental value, which were destroyed in the blaze.
In an impact statement, Mr Reece said the family have been left 'heartbroken' by events and denied the chance to sort out personal belongings of their father.
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He said: 'A few weeks before the family had accepted an offer on the property and less than three weeks later it was a burnt out shell.'
Mr Reece said Cox was arrested for the burglary and blaze after she was stopped by a police officer as she left the scene in the early hours.
She at first only admitted stealing items and tried to claim the fire had been an accident but later admitted she had started the blaze deliberately.
Cox, of Pigot Lane, Framingham Earl, near Norwich, admitted burglary and arson on January 25 this year and was jailed for three years.
Sentencing her, Judge Katharine Moore accepted Cox had mental health issues and said it was a 'sad and unusual' case.
She said the bungalow had been a much-loved family home and was full of items of sentimental value.
She said her actions meant the family had lost the opportunity of sorting out their father's belongings and also incurred 'significant expenses'.
Jude Durr, for Cox, said she had mental health issues and was full of remorse.