Woman jailed for arson at her home

Cynthia Green
Cynthia Green
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A WOMAN who set her Blackpool home on fire has been jailed.

Cynthia Green put a lighter to a coat in her porch and then went upstairs, where fire officers found her.

A family were asleep next door when the blaze took hold of the terraced property in Sandgate, South Shore, one night in May, the heat causing glass to smash.

Green was later seen lying on the roadside outside, being attended to by paramedics. She told a police officer: “I set fire to my house because I wanted to die.”

The 59-year-old admitted arson, being reckless whether life would be endangered.

Hanifa Patel, prosecuting at Preston Crown Court, said a woman next door was initially woken at around 10.15pm on May 16 by a smell of burning. She ignored it, thinking her son was making something to eat.

Then at 11.10pm, she was woken by her son telling her someone was knocking on the front door.

Ms Patel added: “On looking out she saw flames and smoke coming out of the defendant’s address. She heard glass smashing and called the fire brigade.”

Fire crews arrived while she was making the call. The fire had started in the porch, behind the front door. Green was taken out of her home by fire officers.

The defendant said she had started it with a lighter. She was taken to Blackpool Victoria hospital.

A considerable amount of damage was caused to the rented property.

Insurers paid out £25,000, but some of the money had to go a loss adjustor.

The woman next door found the experience very scary and worrying.

Green had made previous apparent attempts on her life.

Chris Hudson, defending, said her family were at court and were extremely concerned and supportive. Although she had mental health problems, she was not thought to have a mental illness.

Alcohol was her “achilles’ heel”. She had had drink problems since the age of 18.

Mr Hudson added: “It’s a question of whether this was a genuine suicide attempt or an attempt to draw attention.

“She has become a risk to herself and others as well.

“She never intended to harm or hurt anybody else. She had no comprehension as to the likely damage that resulted.”

Jailing Green for three and a half years, Judge Michael Byrne said: “With her unstable background she represents a very real risk of harm to others”.

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