Teen torches neighbour's home in jealous rage

First published in Runcorn and Widnes World: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A JEALOUS teenage drug addict who blew up his neighbour’s home in a jealous rage could have killed someone, warned a judge.

The 17-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, doused a first floor flat in Afton, Hough Green, with lighter fuel, causing a violent explosion.

The blast forced a large door off its hinges and blew out a lounge window, sending shattered glass across the ground.

The teenager admitted arson, and was given an 18 month detention training order at Warrington Crown Court on Friday.

He torched his neighbour’s home because he feared he was attracted to his partner, the court heard.

Sentencing him, Judge Roger Dutton said: “It was fortunate no-one was injured or even killed.

“Indulging in drug taking, a whole catalogue of substances, ecstasy and cocaine, you got yourself hugely emotional.

“You were in a relationship you found it difficult to cope with on an emotional level.

“The whole thing turned into a complete disaster. You deliberately set an explosion in a man’s home. It is extremely grave.”

Oliver King, prosecuting, said the victim had left his flat locked on April 24, this year.

He received a telephone call at 2pm, telling him his home had been completely destroyed.

A neighbour heard an “almighty bang”.

Mr King saod: “She smelt and saw smoke and saw the defendant running out of his flat, wearing a dark coat.

“Other neighbours describe seeing him running from the flats.”

The court was told the defendant suspected that the victim was attracted to his partner and torched his home in revenge.

The victim said he is now frightened to go out at night and had lost his independence as he is living with relatives since the incident.

Stephen McNally, defending, said:”My defendant had a tragic start in his life. He has attention deficit disorder.

“This is the first serious relationship he has had as young man. He was finding it hard. He is now far more able to cope with his emotions.”

The defendant confessed to his dad that he started the fire and he then turned him into the police.

Mr McNally said: “His father said that was the most difficult thing he has had to do. The defendant recognises his father did the right thing. It is a sign of his growing maturity.”

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