Somerset

Bath sex shop fire man 'could be detained indefinitely'

A man who set fire to a sex shop in Bath has been told he could be detained indefinitely in a psychiatric unit.

Neil Andersen, 42, of Wedmore Park, Bath, admitted the offence, which happened at a shop on Lower Bristol Road last October.

At Bristol Crown Court he pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered. He had earlier denied the charges.

He is due to be sentenced in June after a psychiatric report has been prepared.

Andersen pleaded guilty after the judge ordered a jury to acquit him of the more serious charge of arson with intent to endanger life.

The judge said Andersen could be made subject of a indefinite hospital order under the Mental Health Act.

'DVD gripe'

He told defence barrister James Bennett: "I make it clear to your client that I am considering a restriction order. I think it is almost inevitable."

The jury was told Anderson threw fuel around the premises, threw a lit match and fled. A family living in the flat above was put at risk, the court heard.

The court heard Andersen had decided to set fire to the sex shop because he was "frustrated" with the owners.

After his arrest he told police: "My gripe is with the company that runs the shop, not the worker.

"I have a gripe about some of the DVDs they sell and produce and I have been receiving hassle from someone."

After he changed his plea, the court was told Andersen had served a three-year jail sentence for affray and had also been sentenced to five years in jail for making threats to kill.

He also has convictions for stalking women.

The judge ordered a further psychiatric report and adjourned sentencing until 22 June.

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