Sheffield arsonist who caused £15,000 damage after torching bedroom hopes to become a drug-worker

A reformed arsonist who set fire to his bedroom at a supported accommodation when he was due to be evicted hopes to become a drug-worker.

By Jon Cooper
Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 1:19 pm

Matthew Scott, aged 24, of Burnell Road, Owlerton, Sheffield, admitted committing arson as to being reckless as to whether life would be endangered at his former bedroom at a Target Housing property on Lindsay Avenue, at Sheffield Lane Top, Sheffield.

Prosecuting barrister Laura Marshall told a Sheffield Crown Court hearing: “Matthew Scott had been under the process of being evicted because of his behaviour towards members of staff.”

She added: “The defendant asked a neighbour to call the fire service because his property was on fire. The fire service attended and found the rear of the bedroom fully alight and that was extinguished.”

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A cordon of police tape (Photo credit should read NIKLAS HALLE'N/AFP via Getty Images)

The court heard on March 26 that Scott claimed he had been moving out but had returned and opened the bedroom door to be confronted by thick, black smoke.

He claimed he had not started the fire deliberately although he had been highly-intoxicated and had been drinking.

However, Scott, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to committing arson recklessly as to whether life would be endangered after the incident in April, 2018.

The fire service stated it was highly probable the fire was caused by a deliberate ignition after a mattress had been exposed to extreme heat.

Ms Marshall said repair costs have been estimated at £14,933.

Matthew Burdon, defending, said: “He’s a young man with a very difficult and traumatic background. He reached a period in 2018 when he was described as being at an all-time low.

"He then served a short custodial sentence and upon his release he appears to have made a remarkable turnaround in his life.”

Mr Burdon added he attended Addaction to address drug problems, assisted charity Roundabout, engaged in pubic-speaking, is becoming a peer-educator and hopes to become a drug-worker.

Recorder David Kelly understood Scott had been homeless and has shown remorse.

He sentenced Scott to 21 months of of custody suspended for two years with 180 hours of unpaid work and a rehabilitation requirement.

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