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Firestarting lover jailed after ‘revenge’ arson

The scene outside the first floor flat on Cookson Street where the attack took place and (below) Kimberley Gonzague-Ingham.

The scene outside the first floor flat on Cookson Street where the attack took place and (below) Kimberley Gonzague-Ingham.

A “hyper” arsonist who burned her boyfriend’s mattress in revenge for his alleged mistreatment of her has been jailed for three years.

Neighbours today welcomed the sentence handed down to Kimberley Gonzague-Ingham, 24, whose actions left a man in the next door flat blinded by smoke and struggling to breathe while stumbling through thick smoke.

Gonzague-Ingham, of Ascot Road, Thornton, put a naked flame to a mattress while her boyfriend, with whom she had been in a casual relationship for around two months, was out after getting into the first floor property on Cookson Street, Blackpool.

Preston Crown Court heard the cost of the fire damage was put at about £15,000.

Today, Cookson Street residents and workers recalled the blaze, which happened in the early hours of April 28 this year.

Michael Keegan, from the Homeless Action shop, said: “Thank goodness she got three years.

“I remember the smoke and fire engines.

“I was in my van doing my deliveries and I just remember being stuck in traffic because of it.”

The night before the attack Gonzague-Ingham had seen another woman leaving the flat.

One person had reported her as acting “hyper” on the night of the attack.

Another neighbour, a 71-year-old man who had lived on the street for 27 years, also welcomed the sentence.

The man, who did not want to be named, said: “I think three years should be three years, not shorter.

“I remember waking up the next day and seeing something strange across the road.

“I’ve not seen anything like this before and there’s been no work done on the buiding after the fire.”

Gonzague-Ingham had pleaded guilty to a charge of arson being reckless whether life would be endangered.

David Clarke, prosecuting, said: “He didn’t consider it to be a serious relationship. As far as he was concerned, the defendant was happy with that arrangement.”

Fraser Livesey, defending, said: “She acted spontaneously when he wasn’t there. There was no planning in this.”

Judge Michael Byrne told her as he passed sentence “This was a deliberate act of revenge and getting your own back at your boyfriend, with whose conduct you were dissatisfied.

“You believed he had treated you badly. This is a serious offence”.

She will have to pay a £120 statutory surcharge.

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