Youth sentenced for arson at sheltered home in Rugby

14/10/2011

A 17 year-old youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was today sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court to a Hospital Order for setting a fire at a sheltered home for older people in Rugby.

  At an early hearing, the defendant had pleaded guilty to two counts of Arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered for an offence which took place on 1st March, 2010 at Harold Cox Place, Rugby. The jury were directed by the judge to enter a not guilty verdict on two further counts of Arson with intent to endanger life for an offence which took place at the same location but two days earlier.  

The two counts of manslaughter on Albert and Kathleen Adams, who died from smoke inhalation following the first fire at their maisonette, will lie on file.

 Nigel Reader, Special Casework Lawyer from the West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service Complex Casework Unit, said: "This has been a complex case to prepare and prosecute not least because of the many competing interests involved, namely a number of young and vulnerable witnesses and a young defendant who has learning difficulties.

 "The defendant's motives remain unclear. No doubt this was a factor in the Court deciding that the appropriate sentence was a Hospital Order.

 "I would like to pay my thanks to the police for their thorough investigation and to the young witnesses who supported the prosecution case."

 At an earlier hearing, Sean Kelly, 19, had pleaded guilty to Burglary, perverting the course of public justice and failing to surrender to custody.