Life sentence for arsonist who killed pensioner

12/11/2013

A Judge at Wolverhampton Crown Court has today sentenced Aiden Elmore to life, to serve a minimum of 21 years, after he was found guilty of setting fire to a block of flats in Willenhall which resulted in the death of a 68-year-old man.

Fire services were made aware of a blaze to a block of flats in Southey Close, Willenhall in the early hours of 8 October 2012 and on their arrival they found a substantial fire and tenants of the flats jumping from their windows to escape the flames.

A few minutes later, emergency services were tackling another blaze at Wychbold Way, close to the vicinity of the first fire. This was the property of Elmore's ex-partner where she lived with her young child and family.

Fire investigation teams very quickly identified that both fires were non-accidental and in fact a series of wheelie bins had been intentionally placed at the entry and exit points at both properties and deliberately set alight. The aim of this was to deliberately trap the occupants inside.

The 20-year-old was found guilty of the murder of Victor Moore as well as two counts of arson with intent to endanger life.

At an earlier hearing on 8 October, Elmore pleaded guilty to the offence of Arson - reckless as to whether life was endangered in respect of his ex-partner's address Wychbold Way.

Paul Cahill, Senior Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Through his deliberate and callous actions, Aiden Elmore not only killed an innocent man, but he also put others, which included young children and fire fighters, in danger.

"Elmore's intention that night was to seriously maim as many people as possible. Substantial damage was caused to the building and a number of people were evacuated from surrounding flats through the fear of an explosion as large waste disposal bins had been strategically placed next to a gas main.

"With nine wheelie bins having been intentionally placed against the rear doors blocking the residents from escaping and then being deliberately set alight, the fire investigation team quickly identified the fire as non-accidental.

"In the communal area of the block of flat, investigators located the body of Victor Moore. The frail victim was unable to leave his ground floor flat and died after he was exposed to the fire.

"The police found the defendant nearby to the scene of the fires and he was arrested, charged and today he has been sentenced for his crimes.

"Our thoughts are today with the family and friends of Mr Moore."