Life term for gas blast man

Stephen Guest
Stephen Guest
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A life sentence has been handed to a man who caused a gas blast which endangered his neighbours in a block of bedsits.

Stephen Guest was said to have taken a dislike to another tenant in the large Edwardian villa where he lived – and left the gas rings on his cooker hob turned on before leaving the property after starting a fire.

The 43-year-old was given a life sentence, with a minimum term of seven years, when he appeared before a judge at Sheffield Crown Court.

Six other flats in the house of multiple occupation in Windsor Road, Town Moor, Doncaster, had to be evacuated just before 10pm on February 22 this year because of fears of further explosions.

Fire crews had to break into the flat occupied by Guest and found more than one seat of fire.

Guest was arrested the next day and remained in custody until his court appearance.

No-one was injured, but fire investigators quickly discovered the fire had been started deliberately. Guest had left the gas hobs on and some rubbish, cardboard and candles had been set alight in the kitchen.

Police said they believed Guest was trying to kill one of the other residents by starting the fire.

After his arrest he was charged with attempted murder, which he admitted when he made his court appearance.

The judge ordered he must serve at least seven years before he can be considered for parole.

After the case, Det Con Andy Gray said: “Starting a fire can not only lead to property damage, but can often have fatal consequences.”