Bramley man pleads guilty to arson after starting fire which led to evacuation of staff and patients from Leeds General Infirmary

A man who caused part of Leeds General Infirmary to be evacuated after he started a fire has pleaded guilty to arson.

Saturday, 20th February 2021, 6:00 am

Staff and patients had to leave the hospital while firefighters attended the serious incident which caused 'significant' damage to the hospital.

Kriss Jackson, of Poplar Mount, was arrested after the blaze was started on the evening of January 21 and which forced an evacuation of part of the building.

Six fire engines were called to the site and eight firefighters used hose reels to bring the flames under control and assist staff to remove patients.

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West Yorkshire Police at the scene of the arson incident at Leeds General Infirmary in January.

Jackson, 43, pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The defendant had previously been charged with the more serious offence of arson with intent to endanger life, which he denied.

Jackson also admitted a charge of affray, two assaults, and possession of an offensive weapon.

The defendant appeared before the court via a video link from HMP Leeds.

His solicitor Stuart Field made application for a psychiatric report before sentencing.

The case was adjourned and Jackson will be sentenced on April 22.

Police were called to the hospital at about 5.55pm in January 21 to reports that a man was attempting to start a fire.

The man was also said to be armed with a screwdriver, causing damage to the unit and making threats.The area was evacuated.

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service officers extinguished the fire.

Police officers located and arrested a man.

No-one one was injured in the incident.

A spokesman for Leeds Teaching Hospitals said at the time: "A small fire at LGI this evening was extinguished quickly and nobody was injured.

"Staff and patients were evacuated for a short period and police investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing. Thank you to our staff, the fire service and the police who responded quickly."

Detective Inspector James Entwistle of Leeds CID said: "This was a very serious incident which caused significant damage to the hospital.

"Luckily, no one was injured and everyone in the hospital was safely accounted for."