Castleford: Neighbour’s flat torched after row

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A MAN who posted a burning newspaper through his neighbour’s letterbox after a row over loud music has been jailed.

Martin Stewart, 21, was sent to prison for 18 months yesterday after admitting arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered over the incident at Acorn house flats, Netherfield Close, Castleford.

Stewart’s neighbour James Craven, who lived opposite him on the second floor, woke up on the morning of February 11 this year to find blackened newspaper had been pushed through the letterbox.

When he opened the door, he discovered it was fire damaged on the outside and abusive words had been written on it.

Mehran Nassiri, prosecuting, said in the months leading up to the incident, Mr Craven had made complaints of loud music being played by his neighbour, banging on his door and eggs thrown at his property.

He had also reported having the door lock filled with glue.

Mr Nassiri said that another neighbour had given a statement that she had seen Stewart putting the lighted paper through the letter box in the early hours of the morning.

A fire investigator said the cause of the fire appeared to be deliberate and came close to ignited clothing in the hallway.

Stewart was arrested and initially denied the offence and writing the graffiti but later said had been extremely drunk on almost three litres of vodka.

Michael Smith, for Stewart, said although the damage was limited, there was a risk the incident could have been more serious if the clothes had been set alight. He said Stewart had moved away from the flat since the incident.

Jailing him, judge Kerry Macgill said: “They could have died through smoke inhalation or they might have been killed. It is utter stupidity.”


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