NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Man torched Aberdeen flat 'to cover renovation costs'

A man who torched his Aberdeen flat because he wanted to have it renovated has been jailed for 14 months.

Steven Ross, 38, admitted starting the fire in Aberdeen's Market Street on 23 March last year, and putting his neighbours' lives in danger.

More than 30 firemen and eight fire engines attended the blaze, and people in adjoining flats were evacuated.

Sheriff Malcolm Garden said Ross was extremely fortunate that no-one had been injured in the incident.

Fiscal depute Elaine Ward said Ross had returned home more than nine hours after starting the fire and told fire investigators he might have left candles burning inside.

However, after the completion of the fire investigation, Ross said he had deliberately started the blaze because he had been told it would cost £20,000 to renovate his flat.

The former St Andrews University student, who is £35,000 in debt, later admitted setting fire to a pan of oil in his kitchen and torching an oil-soaked towel on his sofa, before leaving the flat and locking the door.

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