Carlisle 'man cave' destroyed in drunken rage fire

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David Beattie
Image caption,
David Beattie had denied three charges of arson

A man who destroyed his own "man cave" shed by hurling a cigarette end inside while in a drunken rage has been given a suspended sentence.

David Beattie's "reckless act" in Carlisle in June 2020 sparked a blaze which also damaged neighbouring fencing and a local youth project's building.

The 46-year-old, of Margaret Creighton Gardens, was convicted at Carlisle Crown Court of three charges of arson.

He has now been handed an eight-month jail term, suspended for 18 months.

The court was told the shed, at the rear of a property in residential Currock, housed spray paint and aerosol cans.

'Just an accident'

While a neighbour tried to douse flames with a hose and firefighters also battled the blaze, intoxicated Beattie simply sipped wine at the scene.

He denied three arson charges, telling the jury the fire was "just an accident", describing the shed which he built himself, as his "man cave" in which he produced artwork.

He said he was "haunted" by the incident, adding: "I've burned my whole life down."

Beattie who was said to be a "long-standing alcoholic" was described by his lawyer as "ashamed of his behaviour and of the damage that was caused".

Passing sentence, Judge Richard Archer told him the fire was "no accident" and his actions were "reckless in the extreme".

He ordered him to undergo rehabilitation and alcohol treatment requirements, and also pay £818.94 compensation to the Rock youth project.

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