A TEENAGER who started a fire in the attic of a South Shore home has been locked up.
A terrified mother-of-six was forced to flee her home next door to the blaze on Clarendon Road when Jack Kenyon got into the empty property with a group of youths.
The 19-year-old (pictured) pleaded guilty to arson and being reckless whether life would be endangered after he set fire to a photograph of the home’s previous tenant and threw it on a quilt.
He was sentenced to two and a half years detention.
Preston Crown Court heard Kenyon, of Barton Avenue, South Shore, had disliked the former tenant, who had moved out of the home a week before the fire on April 5 last year.
Peter Barr, prosecuting, said a neighbour spotted four or five youths, including Kenyon, outside the home before they forced their way inside.
They remained inside the property for some time before smoke was spotted coming out of a skylight and a first floor bedroom window.
The teenager said to the friends he was with, “I’ve lit a quilt” and was told to go back inside and put the fire out.
Kenyon refused and one of the others tried to get inside and put the fire out, but had to come out due to thick smoke.
Jacob Dyer, defending, said: “Around that time he was spending his time with others, not in any constructive way, an indication perhaps the offence was born out of immaturity and boredom.
“He has since taken positive action to turn his life around – he has stopped taking cannabis and disassociated himself from others who took cannabis.”
Judge Anthony Russell said: “It seems this fire was started because you found a photograph of the previous tenant in the house and as you and the others there disliked him, this photo was set on fire and tossed onto the duvet.
“It must be understood by both you and by the public that all offences of arson are serious because of the terrible consequences that can follow from a fire, which can very easily get out of hand.
“This sort of messing about can have very serious consequences for others.”