Home arsonist jailed - Hatfield

23/06/2014

A man who started a fire at his partner's home in an attempt to get her rehoused into a bigger property, has been jailed for 8 years today, Monday, 23 June 2014.

Craig Laurie, aged 30, started a fire upstairs in the house as well as another one downstairs, then he and his partner left their home in Furrowfield, Hatfield, to take her children to school.

Today at St Albans Crown Court Laurie appeared for sentence, having been found guilty of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Judge Steven Warner told Laurie that when firemen arrived at the house and forced their way into the terraced property, they had no idea there were two seats of fire raging. Their first action had been to go upstairs and that meant they could have ended up trapped, with no means of escape.

The court heard the blaze started on 15 March last year and caused £24,000 worth of damage.

During the trial the court head that Laurie's partner had been fearful at the time that a violent ex boyfriend was about to be released from prison.  She had hoped the Welwyn-Hatfield Housing Trust was going to move her and her family into a 4 bedroomed property, but the day before the blaze, she learned she was no longer on the priority list.

Laurie was told today he posed a danger to the public. During his trial earlier this year, the jury heard from his ex partner that he had once told her he had started a fire at another property in order to be re-housed.

Judge Warner jailed Laurie for 8 years, telling him he must serve two thirds of the sentence behind bars before he can be released on licence.  He was told his licence period would also be extended to 4 years.

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