Three year sentence for "revenge attack" arsonist
10:40am Sunday 19th August 2012 in News
A man who set fire to a house in Newport while the occupier looked on has been jailed for three years.
Barry Manning, aged 32, admitted arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.
Swansea crown court heard how neighbours in Maes Curig made numerous complaints to the local authority about Manning playing loud music and talking to himself. On March 31st Manning was warned he would be evicted unless he changed his behaviour.
Brian Simpson, prosecuting, said the following day Manning went to the flat above his, which had been occupied by David Graham Davies for 44 years.
Mr Davies opened the door and realised Manning had poured petrol over it, some of which had seeped into the property and even onto his shoes.
Without saying anything Manning flicked a cigarette lighter and ignited the petrol before walking off.
Mr Davies used a blanket to put out the flames.
Mr Simpson said the door was the only entrance and exit to the flat and the outcome could have been tragic.
Police went to Manning’s flat and found he still had the petrol can.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Davies said Manning had turned Maes Curig into a living nightmare.
Since the incident he had not been able to sleep properly.
After his arrest Manning told police he thought he had suffered a nervous breakdown. Jim Davis, defending, said Manning had mental health issues.
Judge Paul Thomas said Manning had taken revenge on Mr Davies, who he thought was behind some of the complaints.
Judge Thomas said after Manning had served his prison sentence he should be monitored on a multi-agency basis.