Man jailed for New Year's Day arson attack in Blackburn

A Blackburn man has been jailed after setting fire to his ex-girlfriend's flat in the early hours of New Year's Day.

Keiron Gray, 42, started the fire on Wellington Road at about 02:00 GMT on 1 January, after his girlfriend ended their relationship.

Gray, from Coleridge Street, then lied to a passer-by, telling him he had already called the fire brigade.

He was sentenced to two years for reckless arson at Preston Crown Court.

The court heard Gray removed his possessions from the flat, then set fire to his ex-girlfriend's belongings.

A passer-by noticed smoke and woke up surrounding residents, then contacted the fire service.

As the passer-by tried to get into the flat, believing people were inside, he saw Gray in the backyard who told him he had already called the emergency services.

Nobody else was in the flat at the time Gray set it alight. He was arrested and charged with arson the following day.

Det Con Dan Perkins said: "This set of circumstances could have been far worse.

"People would have been drinking alcohol while celebrating the New Year and may not have been woken by the knocking on their doors."

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