Man jailed for set­ting fire at house with baby in­side

Sen­tence: 21-year-old then went on vi­o­lent rob­bing spree with three oth­ers

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - NEWS -

A man who set a fire out­side a house en­dan­ger­ing a baby and then went on a vi­o­lent rob­bing spree has been jailed.

Dy­lan Ma­son set fire to the front door of the prop­erty in Fraser­burgh’s Muri­son Place while the child and a woman were in­side.

A neigh­bour man­aged to ex­tin­guish the blaze, but told the court it was “so mas­sive it cov­ered the whole door”.

Ma­son, 21, was orig­i­nally charged with at­tempted mur­der fol­low­ing the in­ci­dent on Au­gust 12 last year, but was con­victed of a lesser charge of wil­fully at­tempt­ing to set fire to the door to the dan­ger of the lives of oc­cu­pants af­ter a trial at the High Court in Ed­in­burgh.

He re­turned to court yes­ter­day for sen­tence, along­side Reece Gaughan, Lee Mur­phy and Michael O’Brien, with whom he car­ried out a num­ber of vi­o­lent of­fences in the weeks fol­low­ing.

Gaughan, 23, Mur­phy, 24, O’Brien, 22, and Ma­son are all from the Liver­pool area, but had lived at ad­dresses in the Fraser­burgh area.

The court heard that on Septem­ber 10 last year, Ma­son, Gaughan and O’Brien at­tacked a man at a flat in the town’s Academy Road.

Their vic­tim was struck on the face with a ma­chete be­fore the trio fled with £800.

Ma­son, Gaughan and O’Brien ad­mit­ted at­tack­ing him to his se­vere in­jury and per­ma­nent dis­fig­ure­ment and rob­bing him.

Ma­son and Gaughan also ad­mit­ted as­sault­ing an­other man at the flat.

The fol­low­ing day Ma­son, Gaughan, O’Brien and Mur­phy were in­volved in a fur­ther as­sault and at­tempted rob­bery at a house in Mo­ray Road in Fraser­burgh.

Gaughan was wear­ing a Halloween-style mask and hold­ing a pole when he turned up at the ad­dress with O’Brien, who had a ma­chete.

Gaughan re­moved his mask and pointed the pole at a man’s head and de­manded to know where an­other man was. When he said he did not know who Gaughan was talk­ing about, he then held the pole against his part­ner’s head and de­manded cash.

Gaughan and his ac­com­plices ran into a back gar­den and jumped a wall be­fore get­ting into a car and mak­ing their get­away.

Po­lice traced first of­fend­ers Gaughan and Ma­son to a house in Sand­haven on Septem­ber 12 and also re­cov­ered the ma­chete.

Judge Lord Pent­land told Ma­son the fire-rais­ing charge was an “ex­tremely se­ri­ous of­fence” and jailed him for 10 years. Gaughan was locked up for seven years.

Mur­phy – who has pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for drugs, pos­ses­sion of an of­fen­sive weapon, ha­rass­ment and van­dal­ism – was jailed for five years, while O’Brien – who has pre­vi­ous con­vic­tions for sup­ply­ing class A drugs – was locked up for six years.

De­tec­tive Inspector Sam Buchan last night wel­comed the sen­tenc­ing.

He said: “The last­ing im­pact on the vic­tims can­not be un­der­es­ti­mated. North Aberdeen­shire is a close com­mu­nity and safe place to live there­fore when in­ci­dents like these hap­pen, ex­ten­sive and thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tions will be car­ried out. No stone will be left un­turned to al­low us to bring of­fend­ers to court.

“I would like to thank the lo­cal res­i­dents who as­sisted us with in­quiries. Had it not been for the will­ing­ness of the com­mu­nity in Fraser­burgh to co-op­er­ate and en­gage with my of­fi­cers then the op­por­tu­nity to present all of the ac­cused to court would have been much more chal­leng­ing.

“Let me be clear – if you choose to come to north Aberdeen­shire and choose to act in such a vi­o­lent way, you will not get away with it and you run the risk of re­ceiv­ing a sig­nif­i­cant cus­to­dial sen­tence at court.”

EMER­GENCY SCENE: Muri­son Place in Fraser­burgh where ac­cused 21-year-old Dy­lan Ma­son set a large fire out­side a house while a baby and a woman were in­side

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