Fire starter who killed Hartlepool father-of-three sentenced


A man who intentionally set a house fire which killed a father-of-three in Hartlepool has today been sentenced to life imprisonment at Teesside Crown Court.

Paul Nash, 30, who has been on remand in Holme House Prison, Stockton, was handed the sentence in relation to a house fire which claimed the life of Andrew Simon, 44, in June of last year. He was sentenced to life, of which he must spend a minimum of 10 years in prison.

Despite pleading guilty to manslaughter at an earlier hearing, the basis for that plea had been rejected by the Crown.

Nash had initially claimed that the fire had been started by a carelessly discarded match but the evidence in the case clearly showed that it had been started deliberately, a fact that Nash eventually accepted.

Lynsey Colling, Acting District Crown Prosecutor for CPS North East, said: "On the evening of this tragic fire Paul Nash had been a guest of Andrew Simon, drinking with others at Andrew's home in Dent Street, Hartlepool.

"For whatever reason, Nash chose to repay this kindness by returning to Andrews home later that evening, deliberately setting the fire that would claim his life.

"While we may never fully understand the motives behind Nash's actions, their cost to the family of Andrew Simon is painfully clear. We extend our deepest sympathies to them all at what must be a very difficult time for them."