Matthew Gill sentenced for Herongate neighbour arson

A 19-year-old has been sentenced to four years at a young offenders institution for deliberately setting fire to a neighbour's house.

Matthew Robin Gill, from Shrewsbury, had admitted a charge of arson and being reckless as to whether life was endangered at an earlier hearing.

The fire in December was in revenge for an argument Gill had with the neighbour, Stafford Crown Court heard.

The man's wife and baby son had been in the house at the time.

The neighbour returned to his home to find a coat burning in his porch, the court heard.

Footprints in snow

Judge Robin Onions said the consequences of the fire could have been disastrous.

Gill, of Reedham Road, Herongate, was caught by police after his footprints were traced back to his front door in the snow, the court was told.

He had also admitted giving a false alarm of a fire to Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service on 21 October for which he was sentenced to three months to run concurrently Friday.

He had breached a community order as well and was given a further three months, running concurrently.

Mr Onions said: "You were motivated by revenge.

"You knew the house was occupied.

"There was a 22-month-old child upstairs in bed and they could have been in serious trouble.

"You are a lucky young man that the consequences of your stupid actions are not more serious than they are.

"It seems to me that you like the blue lights and it's a very dangerous thing."

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