Tyne & Wear

Lottery winner's stepson jailed for Newcastle arson

Christopher Graham
Image caption Graham hoarded comics, hot chilli sauces, green tea and drugs

A lottery winner's stepson from Newcastle has been jailed after he admitted putting a lit firework through his ex-girlfriend's letterbox.

Christopher Graham, from Heaton, was given £1m by his stepfather when he won the jackpot seven years ago.

Newcastle Crown Court was told that 36-year-old Graham spent most of the money on his obsession for hoarding, and had also amassed a huge haul of drugs.

After earlier admitting arson and drugs charges he was jailed for seven years.

The court was told that during two raids at Graham's home police found large amounts of drugs, including LSD, ecstasy, cannabis, ketamine and diazepam.

While on bail for drug offences, he became convinced his former partner, Andrea Davis, was having an affair and in the early hours of 12 April pushed a lit firework through her letterbox, causing a small fire.

Miss Davis, who lives with her 17-year-old daughter and a six-year-old girl she had with Graham, was able to extinguish it.

At an earlier hearing at Newcastle Crown Court Graham pleaded guilty to arson while being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

He also admitted two charges of possessing cannabis and ketamine with intent to supply, 11 charges of possessing drugs and three counts of possessing an offensive weapon - a pepper spray.

He denied being a drug dealer, but said that people offered him drugs and he "bought cheap".

"I don't sell them, they build up and build up and end up in boxes, there's shedloads of drugs," he said.

"Throughout my life it has been Star Wars figures, cigarette papers, flyers for dance events, comics or records."

The court was told that Graham had hoarded thousands of comics, hot chilli sauces, Chinese green tea, and miniature bottles of spirits.

Judge Christopher Prince said he accepted Graham would have shared the ketamine or cannabis with friends, rather than sell it.

He sentenced him to a total of seven years, six for arson and one for the drug offences, to be served consecutively.

'Extremely dangerous'

Judge Prince said that Graham had believed Miss Davis had entered into a new relationship with a new man and was jealous.

"It was because of that jealously you went to that flat," he said.

"Miss Davis said it was only a small fire. The trouble with small fires is that they get larger.

"What you did was extremely dangerous. That death or serious injury was not caused is a matter of good fortune."

"In cases of this type there must be a sentence of deterrence so that others do not engage in this type of behaviour."

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