Man is jailed over arson at his flat

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A MAN has been jailed for three years after setting fire to his ground floor flat following an argument with his girlfriend.

Kevin Naylor, 22, appeared before York Crown Court having previously pleaded guilty to a charge of arson.

The court heard that Naylor used a lighter to set fire to a bed in his ground floor flat in Grosvenor Road after an argument with his girlfriend’s family on July 4 last year.

The resulting blaze caused fire damage to the living room in the flat and smoke damage to other rooms, but also led to the girlfriend, her mother and others, having to evacuate their flat above Naylor’s.

The family then had to break back into the flats after realizing the outside door had locked behind them and a woman was still in the flat above theirs.

Howard Shaw, prosecuting, told how on July 4 last year, Naylor, who lived in the ground floor flat with his girlfriend, joined her and her parents for a BBQ in the outside area of the flats.

An argument started with his girlfriend’s father telling Naylor he was not looking after his daughter well enough and insisting that she spent the night in their flat.

Naylor had to be later ejected from the family’s home, however he then contacted the police to complain he had been assaulted, leading to the arrest of his girlfriend’s father.

Later Naylor scaled the outside of the flats and his girlfriend could see him peering through a window at her.

His girlfriend and her mother then realized that smoke was billowing from the windows of the flat beneath theirs and evacuated the premises.

Fire officers found the flat so smoke logged they had to use thermal imaging equipment to find their way around inside.

Mr Shaw said they also had difficulty getting at the blazing bed because it had been pushed up against a door by Naylor before he left.

Naylor was later found wandering the streets by police, and because of his strange behaviour was originally arrested under the mental health act.

Although he initially denied starting the fire, Naylor later admitted before Scarborough Magistrates a charge of arson, being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.

Glenn Parsons, mitigating, said his client was not mentally ill, but was judged to be emotionally immature which would make the inevitable prison sentence “frightening” for him.

Adding that Naylor had believed all the family were at the police station when he started the fire, Mr Parsons said his client had “just not thought things through”.

Passing sentence, Recorder David Hatton QC said that the fire had the potential of leading to serious injury or even death for the residents of the flats.

Naylor was jailed for three years.