Arsonist sentenced for car fires

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

A 30-year-old man who carried out a series of arson attacks on vehicles in Halifax has been made the subject of a two-year community sentence.

Bradford Crown Court heard that Paul Ross, who previously lived in a caravan in the Doctor Hill area, had already spent three months on remand awaiting his sentence for arson offences committed in September and October last year.

Ross, who is now living at a bail hostel in Leeds, pleaded guilty last November to three offences of arson and one of attempted arson.

Three of the offences were committed in the Wheatley area on October 19 and involved a Vauxhall Vivaro, an Iveco vehicle and a Ford Transit van.

An earlier offence on September 1 involved a Volkswagen Luton van.

Sentencing Ross today Recorder Jonathan Sandiford said it was an important feature of the case that a psychiatrist had concluded that the defendant was not suffering from any psychiatric illness and had no history of starting fires.

“He concludes that the real cause of this offending amounted to your misuse of alcohol and drugs on two occasions,” the judge told Ross.

The judge said one of the arson attacks had led to a vehicle being burnt out and damage estimated at two or three thousand pounds being caused.

The other offences were committed on the same day in October when Ross set fire to the wheel arches of three other vehicles.

Recorder Sandiford said Ross had already had a degree of punishment through being remanded in custody and he wanted the community sentence to continue the progress he had already been making.

“If you let me down all bets are off and I will reconsider the matter,” the judge warned Ross.

Ross will be subject to supervision by the probation service for the next two years and he will also have to do 150 hours unpaid work for the community.