Telford mother jailed for starting fire at block of flats

A mother of two who started a fire at a block of flats in Telford by setting light to her former partner's favourite baseball cap and throwing it onto a mattress has been jailed.

Telford mother jailed for starting fire at block of flats

A mother of two who started a fire at a block of flats in Telford by setting light to her former partner's favourite baseball cap and throwing it onto a mattress has been jailed.

Residents were forced to escape through windows and others were rescued by fire crews as smoke spread through the block of flats in Beaconsfield, Brookside, from the fire which caused £50,000 damage.

Sharon Thomlinson, who was said to have been binge drinking on the day of the blaze last September, was jailed for a total of 32 months at Shrewsbury Crown Court today.

Judge Mark Eades told Thomlinson that her actions against her ex-partner Paul Antonsen had been "vindictive, mean and spiteful".

He said: "You wanted to upset him. This was another spiteful act. The cap was a treasured possession.

"There were other ways it could have been destroyed, but you decided to set fire to it and threw it carelessly to one side," he added.

Thomlinson, 34, of Grange Close, Stirchley, had admitted a charge of arson and being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The court heard that neighbours had raised the alarm at the flats around 6.30pm on September 22 and other residents were forced to leave their homes.

Miss Jo Barker, prosecuting, said that the seat of the fire had been a mattress on the floor in the living room of Mr Antonsen's flat.

She said the room was severely damaged and that Mr Antonsen lost property worth about £5,000.

Mr Mike Sherwood-Smith, for Thomlinson, said his client had been depressed and isolated after the couple split up in April last year.

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