Birmingham & Black Country

Ulfah Arts Centre fire: Birmingham man jailed

Leon Smythe Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Leon Smythe was found guilty of arson in November following a trial

A 40-year-old man has been jailed for five years after setting fire to an arts centre in Birmingham.

Leon Smythe targeted the Ulfah Arts Centre in Highgate Square in May, destroying media equipment and "10 years of work".

Smythe, from Washington Court in the city, was found guilty of arson in November by Birmingham Crown Court.

West Midlands Police said he started the blaze the day after he was released from prison for another offence.

Image copyright ulfah arts
Image caption The fire at Ulfah Arts in Birmingham happened on 20 May

Det Con Steve Smith said: "This was a serious fire which devastated the arts centre, the community it serves and those whose homes were affected.

"Smythe showed no regard for all the people he placed in danger and has given no real reason for committing this terrible act.

"The sentence shows that such reckless and dangerous crimes will not go unpunished and hopefully all those whose lives he touched will take some comfort from the sentence he has today received."

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