Arsonist started fire outside flat at Armley tower block, Leeds Crown Court told

An arsonist who started a fire outside the front door of a neighbour's  flat at a tower block in Armley has been sentenced to a hospital order.

By Mark Lavery
Sunday, 4th July 2021, 4:45 am
Updated Sunday, 4th July 2021, 11:10 am

Leeds Crown Court was told William Parkinson, 51, set the fire before sending a message to his son, which read 'I have set the fire outside the front door, hee hee, war time my son.'

The court heard a police officer tried to extinguish the fire before alerting the fire service.

Firefighters rescued the man from the flat and he was taken to hospital for treatment for smoke inhalation.

Leeds Crown Court

Parkinson, of Farrow Hill, Armley, admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Emma Handley, prosecuting, said the neighbours had a "tumultuous" relationship in the days leading up to the incident on July 17 2020.

Miss Handley said just before 10pm that day, the complainant had been released from custody following allegations made by Parkinson.

Miss Handley said the complainant went to Parkinson's flat and made threats towards him.

Parkinson called police at 1am on July 18 and told them he was having a psychotic episode and had self harmed.

Miss Handley said police attended, discovered the flat fire and heard the complainant screaming for help.

Officers found Parkinson on the fourth floor where he was crying and in a distressed state.

The court heard two psychiatrists said Parkinson is suffering from a personality disorder and post traumatic stress disorder.

Michael Scholes, mitigating, said: "He has insight into his condition and is amenable to accepting treatment."

Judge Simon Batiste made a section 37 hospital order under the Mental Health Act.

Judge Batiste said: "It is clear that you had a very difficult childhood. And in 2015 you suffered a severe brain injury.

"You have been diagnosed by both doctors as suffering from a personality disorder and PTSD."