Arsonist sentenced for house blaze

A teenage arsonist who started a fire in a Halifax house while the owner was asleep downstairs has been sent to a young offenders institution for 40 months.

Shay Coleman, 19, used his cigarette lighter to start the early hours blaze in an upstairs bedroom at the mid-terraced property on Chester Street last December.

Bradford Crown Court heard that the householder David Riding, who had been drinking and talking with Coleman that night, was asleep on a sofa when the teenager lit the fire.

The damage caused ran into several thousand pounds.

Coleman, of Clay Street, Halifax, was found guilty after a trial of arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.

Sentencing him yesterday Judge John Potter said he had taken account of Coleman’s age and his mental health problems and he also accepted that after starting the fire he had alerted Mr Riding.

But the judge said Coleman had not shown a shred of remorse for the blaze which had to be put out by the fire brigade.