William Angus, 28, of no fixed address, admitted a charge of simple arson in December after setting fire to the top-floor maisonette on Craylands, in Basildon, on Friday, June 28 2013.
50 people were evacuated from their home and the blaze caused around £140,000 worth of damage to the property.Not that he’ll have to pay it…
He said he had 'flicked' a lighter at the sofa, which had started the blaze, after an argument with his girlfriend Abby Hockwood, who was then 38-weeks pregnant.
Angus was given a 20-month sentence, suspended for 18 months. He will be monitored via an electronic curfew between 8pm and 6am for the next four months and will have to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.
He will also be signed up to a thinking skills programme.*sighs*
Ian Clift, defending, said Angus hadn’t thought about the consequences of his actions and was ‘extremely shocked and remorseful’ on finding out the amount of damage caused.
He added Angus, who has two children, was ‘a very mature and polite man’ who had promised to grow up.Why would ‘a mature man’ need to ‘grow up’?
Angus has previous convictions stretching back to 1999 including criminal damage, actual bodily harm, driving with excess alcohol, driving uninsured and breaching community orders.Clearly prime breeding stock. Well, incredibly enough, Miss Hockwood still seems to think so!
Since the blaze Angus and Miss Hockwood have reconciled although, unlike his parents and step-father, she was not present at court.There’s no hope for the child, is there?