Nightmare tenant jailed for setting fire to her rental property

A tenant who set fire to her flat because her landlord was planning to evict her has been sentenced to three years and two months in prison.

After making several threats to ‘torch’ the block of flats she lived in, Angela Vickers started a fire in her own home after discovering that she was going to be evicted following repeated complaints about her abusive and noisy behaviour.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard how the 35-year old, who had lived in the flat for six years, repeatedly told her neighbours she was going to burn down the purpose-build apartment block on Ruxley Road in the Stoke-on-Trent suburb of Bucknall.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard how the defendant started making threats when she became aware landlord Staffordshire Housing had begun eviction proceedings against her after neighbours complained about loud music, slamming doors, verbal and written abuse, and gluing locks.

The court was even told that one neighbour was so concerned about the threats made by Vickers that he slept with a bowl of water under the letter box.

Prosecutor David James said: “Staffordshire Housing commenced proceedings against her. Once she became aware of these proceedings she made threats to torch the place and said she would set it on fire if she was evicted.

“One neighbour said there were seven occasions when the defendant had issued threats to burn down flats. He slept with a bowl of water under the letter box for fear of the defendant posting something through his door to set it on fire.”

In the early hours of December 13, Vickers finally carried out her threat of arson. Thankfully, firefighters arrived on the scene within four minutes.

In total the blaze, which Vickers confessed to starting after smoking cannabis, caused £1,850 worth of damage.

James added: “Firefighters forced entry into the defendant’s flat. They had to wear breathing apparatus to search the flat. They found the defendant asleep on a mattress in the lounge. The fire was seated in a small storage area inside the flat.”

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