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Two arsonists jailed for setting fire to Redruth housing association property

By West Briton  |  Posted: September 08, 2013

By Johanna Carr

  • Nathan Sully.

  • Julian Ward.

A PAIR of arsonists have been jailed for causing damage valued at £100,000 to a housing association property in Redruth.

A court heard Julian Ward, 43, and Nathan Sully, 25, might have been targeting a resident when they started the fire in a room at the Stonham Housing Association accommodation for offenders.

The pair from Redruth pleaded guilty to a charge of arson being reckless to endangering life at 16 Penventon Terrace.

Crown prosecutor Phillip Lee told Truro Crown Court their intention was unclear but there was some kind of grievance with the occupant.

A security officer monitoring the property's CCTV at 9.43pm on October 22, 2011, noticed the ground-floor bedroom door was partly open and there was a fire inside.

Sully, of Park Close, Park Bottom, and Ward, of Trevelyan Road, had tried to enter the room through a locked door, ended up smashing a window, torched clothing on the bed and left.

Mr Lee said: "There was considerable damage to the bedroom and smoke damage to other parts of the property.

"There was subsequent damage to the fabric of the building ... the overall damage resulted in the house being condemned so that all the occupants had to be rehomed for a number of months."

The total cost to Stonham, a registered charity, was about £100,000.

Sully and Ward were arrested in August 2012. Both have previous convictions and it is thought Sully was only released from prison a few days before the fire.

In mitigation Robin Smith said Sully was determined to sort himself out, and had spent too long in a "drunken abyss".

In Ward's defence, Jason Beal said he had a difficult home situation with two children with special needs, and that his judgement had been affected by alcohol.

Sentencing Sully to two years and eight months in prison, Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, described the arson as "reckless drunken folly".

"At the time you cannot have been sure that nobody else was in 16 Penventon Terrace," he said. "Stonham Housing Association exists for the benefit of people who need help and what you caused ... was to deprive others who were in difficulty, of accommodation."

Ward was jailed for three years because he pleaded guilty at a later stage.

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