Woman set fire to bed in sui­cide bid

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - RHI­AN­NON HIL­TON

AWOMAN set fire to a house in a failed bid to kill her­self af­ter she stopped tak­ing her med­i­ca­tion for bipo­lar dis­or­der, a court heard.

Stacey Linda Glover, of High Street, Mac­cles­field, had been stay­ing with friends at the house in Min­shull New Road, Crewe, when she de­cided to try and take her life by set­ting fire to her bed.

Af­ter smoke alarms went off, the 34-year-old was led from the burn­ing house be­fore throw­ing her­self onto the floor, scream­ing that she’d started the blaze and ‘mak­ing karate-style move­ments’, the court heard.

Glover pleaded guilty to ar­son, be­ing reck­less as to whether life was en­dan- gered. At Ch­ester Crown Court on Septem­ber 18 she was given a three-year su­per­vi­sion or­der, a three­year men­tal health treat­ment re­quire­ment and made sub­ject to a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion re­quire­ment.

The court heard that Glover has a history of men­tal health prob­lems and at the time of the in­ci­dent, on June 14, had not been tak­ing her med­i­ca­tion.

Glover, who has no pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions, had stayed over at the rented home of friend Ryan Gor­don and was up­stairs with his two dogs when she set fire to the bed us­ing a lighter, the court was told.

Mr Gor­don, who heard the smoke alarm and saw black smoke com­ing from the back bed­room, led all three out into the street and re­turned to alert the other peo­ple in the house and el­derly neigh­bours.

Peter Hussey, pros­e­cut­ing, said: “(The de­fen­dant) threw her­self onto the floor and screamed that she had done it. She then be­haved in a very bizarre man­ner, de­scribed as ‘mak­ing karate-style move­ments’ with her arms and legs.”

He said Glover pulled a lighter from her bra.

The fire burned through the roof and caused £3,500 worth of dam­age.

Judge Ni­cholas Wood­ward said: “There were clearly risks to all of the peo­ple in that prop­erty, peo­ple could have died – peo­ple who had done noth­ing wrong at all and peo­ple who were friends of yours.

“Those risks ex­tended to the next door neigh­bour’s house where an in­firm 87-year-old man lived and if not for the ac­tions of the neigh­bours, also could have died.

“The courts will al­ways take a very se­ri­ous view about set­ting fire to peo­ple’s houses... in the vast ma­jor­ity of cases the court will al­ways im­pose an im­me­di­ate cus­to­dial sen­tence.

“There’s ex­cep­tion... when peo­ple suf­fer from gen­uine and se­ri­ous dif­fi­cul­ties with their men­tal health.”

●● Fire­fight­ers damp­ing down at the scene of the house fire started by Stacey Glover

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