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Arson - simple

Date Produced: 1 July 2011
Title: Criminal Damage
Offence: Arson - simple
Legislation: S1(1) AND (3) Criminal Damage Act
Mode of Trial: Either Way
Statutory Limitations & Maximum Penalty:  Life. Serious Specified Offence

Aggravating and Mitigating Factors

  • Intentional / reckless.
  • Motivation - revenge or political
  • Pre-planned.
  • Use of accelerants / firebombs.
  • Injury caused.
  • Extent of damage.
  • Risk of fire spreading.
  • Dwelling attacked.
  • Public building / school attacked.

Relevant sentencing Guidelines

None but note

R. v Calladine November 25, 1975 Psychiatric reports should be obtained before sentencing.

Relevant Sentencing Case Law

R v Brown (1984) 6 Cr.App.R.(S.) 335
The defendant stole piping causing a gas leak and lit a match causing a fire which resulted in £65K damage.
Guilty plea. 2 and a half years' imprisonment.

R v Chamberlain (1987) 9 Cr.App.R.(S.) 337
Pleaded guilty to attempted arson. Late at night the defendant poured petrol over the walls of a pub from
which he had been ejected. Amount of damage and state of mind of the offender. Deliberate revenge attack.
2 and a half years' imprisonment

R v Shah (1985) 7 Cr.App.R.(S.) 456
The defendant started a fire in his chip shop and submitted a false insurance claim for £14K. .
Guilty plea. 4 years' imprisonment + 1 year consecutive for obtaining by deception.

R v Elliott (1989) 11 Cr.App.R.(S.) 67  
The defendant was sacked and set fire to a bus depot causing £1.8M damage. Deliberate revenge attack but no danger to the public. Guilty plea 5 years' imprisonment.

R v Smith (1994) 15 Cr. App. R. (S.) 594
The defendant, an animal rights activist, placed incendiary devices under a number of tractors. Previous 4 year sentence for similar. Guilty plea. 6 years' imprisonment.

Ancillary Orders


Consider Also

ASBO Restraining Order


ARCHBOLD 23-26, 23-46


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