James McGrady Jailed After Starting Blaze at House With Occupant Inside
April 27, 2016, 2:14 am
An east Lancashire man who set fire to a house while its occupant was inside has today been jailed for three years and four months.
James McGrady, 32, of Holden Fold, Darwen, was sentenced at Preston Crown Court for the arson attack he carried out on February 28th 2016, at a different address on Holden Fold.
He started the blaze at around 5am by setting items alight in an outhouse building, causing around Â£250 of damage.
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Fortunately the occupant of the address, a 41-year-old woman, became aware something was amiss when the fire caused a power cut and her dog began to bark.
She raised the alarm and police attended within minutes, catching McGrady just metres from the fire.
Thanks to the speedy response of both Lancashire Constabulary and Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, damage was limited to the coal shed and smoke damage to the house.
Police and the fire service worked together to gather evidence which proved the fire was deliberate and enabled them to piece together a timeline of events.
McGrady initially denied the offence, although later pleaded guilty in court.
Detective Sergeant Andy Horne, of Blackburn CID, said: â€œThe occupant of the house was incredibly lucky as this could have been a much more serious incident. She was left understandably shaken and upset by it.
â€œMcGrady set fire to an outbuilding at the back of the house with no regard for anyone elseâ€™s safety and it is only thanks to the quick response of police officers and fire fighters that the damage was contained and nobody suffered any serious injuries.
â€œLancashire police officers have worked incredibly hard to bring this offender to justice and I hope the sentence McGrady has received today brings some comfort to the victim.
â€œI would also like to praise the two police officers who attended the scene and showed immense bravery by rushing through the smoke to check the occupant was safe.â€