Manchester

Arsonist jailed after Stockport bungalow fire

James Bellamy Image copyright GMP
Image caption James Bellamy, 21, was found guilty of arson with intent to endanger life

A man with a "morbid" obsession with arson has been jailed for seven years after a fire at the home of a wheelchair-bound woman in Stockport.

James Bellamy, 21, set fire to a wheelie bin outside the bungalow on Short Street, Heaton Norris, in the early hours of 27 October 2013.

After the fire spread to the building, the woman's dog barked and woke her up.

Bellamy was earlier found guilty of arson with intent to endanger life at Manchester Crown Court.

Officers said the 61-year-old woman banged on the wall of her property for help and her neighbours then called the fire brigade. She was rescued without injury.

'Unhealthy obsession'

Police said Bellamy, of Edmund Close, Heaton Norris, watched the fire for several minutes before leaving the scene.

Investigators also found he had written imitation newspaper articles about fire for his own enjoyment.

Det Con Jim Wilson said: "Officers spent months investigating a series of arson attacks in the Heaton Norris area before making a crucial breakthrough via footage from a surveillance camera which led us to Bellamy.

"We know from a previous investigation this is a man who has a morbid and unhealthy obsession with fire and arson, and during our enquiries we found that Google searches had been made from his mobile phone for 'woman dies in Heaton Norris fire'.

"It is sheer good fortune that the woman was not killed - and without her loyal dog, she almost certainly would have lost her life."

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