Homeless arsonist caused £100,000 worth of damage when he set fire to West Yorkshire nightclub

A homeless man who set fire to a nightclub and caused £100,000 worth of damage has been locked up.

Friday, 14th May 2021, 4:45 pm

Ten fire crews were needed to bring the blaze under control at After Dark, on Westgate, Wakefield, after Glen Liversidge started a fire in a bin storage area below the ground floor.

Prosecutor Ian Mullarkey said fire crews were called to the venue at around 5.40pm on March 29 last year and found that the flames had spread to the ground floor through the ceiling of the storage area.

The building suffered extensive fire, smoke and water damage, with the repair bill exceeding six figures.

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Arsonist Glen Liversidge was jailed for 18 months.

Luckily, nobody was in the building at the time.

An investigation found the the fire had been deliberately started, and the seat of the blaze was on or next to an old sofa in the storage area.

CCTV was reviewed and 33-year-old Liversidge was spotted entering the site around that time, before leaving. Smoke was then seen coming from the area.

He was arrested two days later and interviewed. Although he accepted it was him on the footage, he denied any responsibility for starting the fire.

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The court was told he has a long list of previous convictions, including burglary and thefts.

Stephen Swan, mitigating, told the court that Liversidge had been homeless at the time and had been sleep in the bin storage area.

He said: "He was using the sofa and sheets of cardboard to stay warm. The room was pitch black and he accepts using candles to light his

way.

"He accepts he caused the fire."

He said Liversidge, who appeared in the court via video link from HMP Leeds, had left school at 15 and had dyslexia and learning difficulties.

Judge Tom Bayliss QC jailed him for 18 months and said: "Whether you deliberately set fire to that sofa or not, you must have known it was alight.

"You knew quite sure what you were doing when you left. You were, in the very least, reckless and significant damage was caused."