Man jailed following series of arsons - Welwyn Garden City


A man appeared at St Albans Crown Court yesterday, Tuesday, 05 August 2014, and was jailed for six years after committing a series of arsons in Welwyn Garden City in December 2013.

Robert Tamanis, aged 19, of Knella Road, Welwyn Garden City, pleaded guilty to the offences at St Albans Crown Court on 05 June.

The offences took place during the early hours of Saturday, 07 December 2013, as follows:

  • 2.27am - Theft from Motor Vehicle - money was stolen from a vehicle in Bury Croft.
  • 3am - Arson with intent to endanger life - Tamanis set fire to a cat flap on a rear door of a property in Bury Croft. Fire fighters attended and the fire was put out before it took hold, resulting in smoke damage inside the property and damage to door.
  • 3am-4am - Arson - Two vehicles, a Ford Zetec and a Peugeot 306, were set on fire in Bury Croft.
  • 4am - Arson - Tamanis set fire to a folded table tennis table in the back garden of a property in Knightsfield. The resident put the fire out.
  • 4am - Arson with intent to Endanger Life - Two cars were set on fire at the front of a property at Knightsfield. The fires were extinguished by the fire service, who concluded that as the cars were parked close to a house that if the fires continued the house would have caught fire.

The following morning, another vehicle was found to have been interfered with in Knightsfield.  A lighter had been left on a seat and a seat had been rolled back. Tamanis' DNA was found on the lighter and it is believed he had sat in the vehicle watching the other fires.

Tamanis was arrested, but failed to account for his actions.  His motive remains unknown.  He pleaded guilty to the offences once his DNA was found on the lighter.  Images and videos of the fires were also found on his mobile phone.