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Stockbridge woman who set fire to home spared prison term
11:21am Thursday 16th January 2014 in News
A distressed woman who set fire to her home in a drunken cry for help has been spared an immediate jail sentence.
Samantha Downton had been drinking heavily and was in despair when she started a blaze at her home in Spring Street, Stockbridge, on June 5 last year, Bradford Crown Court heard on Friday. Downton, 35, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
Her case was adjourned for a probation report to look at her emotional state and she attended a well-woman clinic while on bail. The court was told Downton had drunk so much that night she could recall nothing of the incident.
Her solicitor advocate, Michael Reeves, said her life had now settled down and he urged that she should be helped within the community.
Judge Jonathan Rose said the fire was probably both a suicide attempt and a cry for help.
He sentenced Downton to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision.