A man who set fire to his mother’s house while she was out shopping has been sent to a young offenders institute for three years.
Liam Reddington, 20, had previously threatened to firebomb the semi-detached house and had set fire to a wheelie bin.
This was a serious case of setting fire to a semi-detached house
On August 22, Reddington, of Warrenhurst Avenue, Fleetwood, went to his mum’s house to find her and his sister about to go on a shopping trip.
But after they left, the teenager gathered a pushchair and other items in the living room and set fire to them, before leaving the house.
By the time a neighbour returned and saw smoke coming from the upstairs of the house, the living room had been destroyed and the ground floor was smoke damaged throughout.
Fortunately, no-one was in either the house or the adjoining property at the time of the blaze.
Reddington pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered when he appeared at Preston Crown Court to be sentenced.
The court heard he had used cannabis for a number of years and has mental health problems.
Judge Stuart Baker, sentencing, said: “The pictures make it clear that at the very least this must have caused many thousands of pounds for the landlord or insurance company to restore this property to a habitable condition.
“It must have been out-of-use for your mother and the family as a family home for some time. This was a serious case of setting fire to a semi-detached house.
“Thankfully the next door neighbour was out but there is nothing to suggest you knew that. You took that risk.
“I take note of the fact you have a troubled history.
“Whether that is something that is attributable wholly or in part by the long-standing use of illicit substances such as cannabis and amphetamine I am not able to say.
“I accept you have had difficulties you have not been able to control. There have been behavioural problems for a long period of time.
“Your mother required you to leave the home.
“Anyone who threatens to firebomb his mother’s house where he has a young sister living, and anyone who sets fire to a wheelie bin and who then sets fire to that house – which could have resulted in total devastation of that property – must be regarded as posing a real risk.”
The judge accepted Reddington has no previous convictions but said he had no choice but to send him to a Young Offender’s Institute for three years.