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Tenant jailed for attempted arson

A deranged tenant in Scarborough has been sentenced to 32 months in prison after he attempted to set fire to his flat whilst high on drugs and alcohol

Karl Swales, 47, removed all smoke detectors from a fully-occupied apartment block before setting fire to a pizza box and clothing in his doorway, as he left the three-storey building in Trafalgar Square.

York Crown Court was informed that Swales had earlier removed four fire alarms or smoke detectors inside the building, which meant that by the time the landlord discovered the fire drifting down the stairway, into the flat that he lives in, it was already smouldering.


Swales appeared for sentence via video link last week when Judge Paul Batty QC jailed him for two years and eight months.

It would appear that Swales decided to start the fire in an attempt to get back at his landlord who was planning to evict him. But the judge Batty QC said that the landlord was well within his right to want Swales to move out.

“Your flat was in a complete mess and it was no surprise that your landlord wanted you evictes,” he told Swales. 

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