Res­cued man had ‘home­made bombs’

Fire­works with nails in­side found in hos­pi­tal as fire vic­tim treated for burns

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

AMAN res­cued from a fire was armed with deadly home‘bombs’, a court made heard.

Ian Why­att, 46, loaded fire­works with nails be­fore de­lib­er­ately start­ing a fire at his home on Lon­don Road, Mac­cles­field, in 2013, pros­e­cu­tors said.

The un­ex­ploded de­vices were dis­cov­ered af­ter he had been res­cued and was be­ing treated for burns in hos­pi­tal.

Why­att, who was suf­fer­ing from para­noid delu­sions, told po­lice his ac­tions were a plea for help.

At Ch­ester Crown Court on Mon­day Why­att ad­mit­ted ar­son and mak­ing an ex­plo­sive sub­stance un­der sus­pi­cious cir­cum­stances.

But on ad­vice from doc­tors Judge Ni­cholas Wood­ward de­cided that in­stead of go­ing to prison Why­att should be kept in hos­pi­tal for treat­ment in­def­i­nitely.

The court heard that it was Why­att that called the fire ser­vice at 7pm on Novem­ber 2 say­ing he was trapped on a first floor bed­room and couldn’t get out of the house.

Jane Mor­ris, pros­e­cut­ing, told the court heard that fire­fight­ers were ham­pered by a bar­ri­cade of wooden planks across the in­side of the front door.

Mrs Mor­ris said: “Fire­fight­ers found fire had en­gulfed the stairs.

“They could hear shouts com­ing from up­stairs. As they made their way up­stairs, a large piece of wood fell and hit them. For­tu­nately they were pro­tected by their hel­mets.

“They man­aged to crawl into the bed­room as other fire­fight­ers used a lad­der to get into the bed­room.”

The court heard that Why­att was ram­bling about be­ing fol­lowed and threat­ened by mem­bers of a ma­jor drugs ring.

Mrs Mor­ris said: “He told po­lice he didn’t feel safe and started the fire de­lib­er­ately to get help.

“Po­lice searched Why­att at the hos­pi­tal, where he was be­ing treated for burns, and found a Stan­ley knife and seven fire­works with nails in­side.

“A fire in­ves­ti­ga­tion con­cluded that the fire had been started us­ing petrol. It said there was po­ten­tial for an ex­plo­sion and the nails would have acted as shrap­nel.

“The re­port con­cluded that fire­fight­ers would have de­layed en­try or with­drawn if they had known about the fire­works.”

Judge Wood­ward told Why­att: “You have been suf­fer­ing with men­tal health prob­lems since Oc­to­ber 2013.

“It is very clear you had been try­ing to get as­sis­tance and do not fully un­der­stand the delu­sional dis­or­der you have. It is a re­sult of this con­di­tion that you com­mit­ted se­ri­ous of­fences.”

‘Po­lice searched Wy­att... and found a Stan­ley knife and seven fire­works’

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