Glasgow & West Scotland

Alan Beck jailed for setting four fires in Cumbernauld

A serial fire-raiser who started a blaze at a care home has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Alan Beck, 32, targeted Rannoch Lodge Nursing Home in Cumbernauld last June because he thought a nurse there had "shopped him" over a previous offence.

He admitted starting four fires in the town last year while on licence from a previous fire-raising sentence.

At the High Court in Edinburgh, he was ordered to be placed under supervision for a year after his release.

The court heard how just before midnight on 23 June last year, a drunken Beck began banging on the door of nurse Anne Smith's home in Cumbernauld, shouting: "You shopped me to the police before."

Burning rug

The 64-year-old could not understand what he meant but later, when told who he was, realised Beck had been a neighbour who had been jailed for 45 months in September 2009 for torching a number of houses in the town.

Mrs Smith played no part in reporting Beck to the authorities, the court heard.

Soon after knocking on Mrs Smith's door, Beck returned.

Neighbour Neville Millen, 36, smelled smoke and used a bucket of water to douse a telephone directory and rug which were burning outside their door.

Destroyed stables

The following day, fire alarms went off at the nursing home, where Beck had set light to curtains in one of the rooms.

Emergency services were called to the home as 43 elderly people were removed to safety.

There were no casualties, but £2,000 worth of damage was caused and the care home owners had to spend another £10,000 on a security fence.

The court also heard that Beck set fire to a diesel tank at Palacerigg Golf Glub on 4 July and started a blaze which completely destroyed stables at Palacerigg Country Park on 19 July.

Sentencing Beck, Lord Brailsford said the offences were "plainly serious and plainly concerning".

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