Man set fire to neighbour's flat in Leeds and attacked him with hammer in row over loud music

A man set fire to his neighbour's flat and attacked him with a hammer and a metal bar in a row over loud music.

Wednesday, 30th October 2019, 6:00 am

Matthew Newsome flew into a rage and carried out the "prolonged" attack on the victim at their block of flats in Morley.

Newsome had been drinking and taking drugs before the attack on March 22 this year.

Leeds Crown Court heard Newsome set fire to his neighbour's front door at Fountain Court, Fountain Street, Morley.

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Rage: Matthew Newsome set fire to his neighbour's flat and attacked him with a hammer during dispute over loud music being played.

The victim opened the door when he saw flames and was attacked by the 38-year-old defendant.

Newsome then used a foot-long metal bar from a socket set to hit the victim repeatedly over the head.

The victim suffered a broken finger as he tried to defend himself.

He ran from the flats to a nearby shop for help but Newsome ran after him and continued the attack.

Newsome also used a hammer to inflict injuries.

The court heard the victim suffered head wounds which needed stitches and had to have his finger pinned.

Newsome, of Fountain Street, Morley, pleaded guilty to wounding with intent, arson being reckless as to whether life was engendered and two counts of possession of an offensive weapon.

Martin Morrow, mitigating, said: “He is in prison for a moment of madness.

“He wishes to apologise to the complainant. He is genuinely sorry for what happened.

"He knows he is going to be in custody for a significant period of time."

He added: "He had never actually met the complainant.

"There was an issue over loud music being played."

Mr Morrow said Newsome had mental health issues at the time which had been made worse by his abuse of drink and drugs.

Newsome was jailed for six years and nine months.

Judge Rodney Jameson, QC, said: "There must have been a significant degree of premeditation.

"You had been mulling over your grievance for some, it would seem, and you armed yourself before going to the door.

"You may well have intended to cause more harm than you actually did."