Mother and chil­dren fled flat af­ter man started fire down­stairs

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - News - BY TED DAVEN­PORT

A mother and her two chil­dren had to flee from an up­stairs flat af­ter their down­stairs neigh­bour used lighter fluid to start an early morn­ing fire.

Richard King­don was seen be­hav­ing strangely af­ter start­ing the fire in Il­fra­combe, where he was car­ry­ing a fish­ing rod with a plas­tic fish on the end of the line.

When one neigh­bour asked him if he had started the blaze he replied ‘yes, oops’. He told po­lice he felt frus­trated and wanted to “blow up the world”.

King­don, 51, had a his­tory of men­tal ill­ness and had been walk­ing around the har­bour in Il­fra­combe in the early hours be­fore he re­turned to his ground floor flat and lit the fire at 7.30 am.

The fam­ily liv­ing up­stairs saw him throw­ing items out of his win­dow be­fore they heard a loud bank as he poured lighter fluid onto a du­vet and set it alight.

King­don, for­merly of Gre- en­ways, Il­fra­combe, ad­mit­ted ar­son, be­ing reck­less whether life was en­dan­gered, when he ap­peared at Ex­eter Crown Court.

He was sent to Lang­don Hos­pi­tal in Dawlish un­der an in­def­i­nite hos­pi­tal or­der by Judge David Evans.

He told him:“The or­der is for your own well­be­ing and for the well­be­ing of the pub­lic. Be­cause of the na­ture of the of­fence, your past, your men­tal ill­ness, and the risk of fur­ther of­fences, I am sat­is­fied it is ne­c­es­sary to make this or­der to pro­tect the pub­lic.”

Mr Nigel Wraith, pros­e­cut­ing, said a mother who lived above King­don’s flat was wo­ken by one of her two chil­dren on the morn­ing of July 14 this year be­cause he was throw­ing items out of his win­dow. The child woke her mother again two-and-a-half hours later at 7.30 am af­ter hear­ing a “mas­sive bang” from down­stairs.

Mr Wraith said: “The mother saw smoke bil­low­ing out of the win­dow. She got her fam­ily out and got other res­i­dents out, in­clud­ing one who took some time be­cause they had mo­bil­ity is­sues.

“King­don was act­ing in a bizarre fash­ion, at one stage ap­pear­ing out­side with a fish­ing rod with a plas­tic fish on the line. He was bare chested and his be­hav­iour was de­scribed as be­ing re­ally er­ratic. When asked if he started the fire he said ‘yes, oops’.”

He in­ter­fered with fire­fight­ers by throw­ing objects at the build­ing and af­ter be­ing ar­rested he told po­lice he wanted to “blow up the world” and had put Swan lighter fluid on a du­vet af­ter com­ing home from a walk around the har­bour.

Lang­don Hos­pi­tal con­sul­tant foren­sic psy­chi­a­trist Dr Anil Mo­han­das, said King­don is suf­fer­ing from bipo­lar af­fec­tive dis­or­der and will need in-pa­tient treat­ment for a time that can­not be as­cer­tained.

Mr Richard Crabb, de­fend­ing, said Lang­don did not con­sent to the hos­pi­tal or­der but it was ac­cepted that it is the ap­pro­pri­ate course.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.