Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Serial Fireraiser Rory McVay jailed

A fireraiser who threatened to burn down the home of a police detective "with his family inside" has been jailed for five years and nine months.

Rory McVay, 32, had earlier admitted starting three blazes in Edinburgh, one of which saw 22 people being evacuated and two men jumping from a window.

The judge told him: "You showed wicked disregard for the wellbeing and home life and property of these people."

Lady Smith said it was "disappointing" McVay could not explain his actions.

The judge said background reports also showed he had given no thought to the consequences.

McVay admitted three charges of wilful fire-raising to the danger of residents and an offence of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.

Sentencing him at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lady Smith told McVay that he would have faced a seven and a half year prison sentence but for his guilty pleas.

McVay first struck at Hillside Street, in Edinburgh on 1 December 2008 when he set fire to bags of clothing and bikes in the stairwell, causing an elderly man to be rescued.

He struck again on 12 October 2009 in Oxford Street where he set a bag of rubbish alight before making a 999 call from a nearby phone box to report a fire.

McVay started another blaze within a fortnight when he set fire to a mattress in a stairwell in South Clerk Street on 25 October.

In this incident 22 people were rescued, a couple were forced to jump from their window and another resident was rescued by ladder.

A senior fire officer said the smoke was "very toxic" and anyone who came into contact with it would have fallen unconscious after two or three breaths.

Then when McVay was caught he threatened Det Sgt John Kavanagh.

McVay said he would "have the last laugh" and claimed that he had followed the officer home before stating he was going to burn down his house with his family inside.

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