Coventry & Warwickshire

Coventry man jailed for Wyken flat arson above petrol station

Shane Willis
Image caption Willis was jailed for four and a half years at Coventry Crown Court

A Coventry man who burned down his flat above a petrol station has been jailed for four and a half years.

Shane Willis, 45, set light to the flat on Torcross Avenue, Wyken in May after a dispute with his landlord, West Midlands Police said.

Willis was convicted of committing arson with intent to endanger life after a three-day trial at Coventry Crown Court.

Police said the fire had caused damage valued at about £250,000.

Det Con Jon Rankin said Willis had poured turpentine in the lounge and bedroom of the flat after a series of arguments with his landlord.

He said: "Whatever the dispute, his actions were completely disproportionate - in the end he was lucky not to be facing a murder charge.

"Thankfully the flats were evacuated quickly and no-one was seriously injured.

"However, given that the flats are above a petrol station, and many of the neighbours were elderly or families of young children, the fire could easily have had catastrophic consequences."

Det Con Rankin said the alarm had been raised by a passing driver.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites