Arsonist attempted to trap neighbours in Dukinfield flat

Jason Richmond Image copyright GMP
Image caption Jason Richmond admitted arson with intent to endanger life

A man tried to trap his neighbours in their home while he torched their flat, a court has been told.

Jason Richmond, 46, was jailed for eight years and six months at Manchester Crown Court, after admitting arson with intent to endanger life.

Richmond, of Peel Terrace, Dukinfield, set fire to the property and then tied its front door with rope, said Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

The couple escaped but their pet cats perished.

GMP said Richmond made derogatory and threatening comments about one of his neighbours.

She had texted him that she would call the police if he continued these threats.

The woman and her partner were awoken by their smoke alarm and found their bedroom full of smoke a few days later.

'Frantic escape'

The couple found their front door was tied with rope as they tried to escape the burning property.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption The couple's cats Duchess and Holleigh (right) were killed

Her partner managed to open the door after "repeated frantic attempts".

Their two cats, Duchess and Holleigh, were killed.

Det Con Mick Holloway, said: "Jason Richmond is a dangerous individual who is now exactly where he should be to prevent him posing a risk to any other unsuspecting members of the public."

He added the premeditated attack could have had far more serious consequences if the alarm had not been raised when it was.

The officer the couple had been devastated by the damage to their home and the loss of their cats.

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