A Notts decorator who set fire to a client’s back garden decking over an unpaid bill, causing thousands of pounds of damage, has been jailed.
Barry Simms bought a petrol can from Asda and filled it with fuel before going to Denewood Crescent, in Broxtowe, on the morning of June 26, and climbing over the fence into the back garden.
CCTV footage played at Nottingham Crown Court, on Thursday, showed Simms “systematically” pulling the decking apart before setting it on fire.
Sentencing Simms, Judge Rosalind Coe QC told him: “You made several attempts to get the fire going.
“You went back four or five times with the petrol can. The total damage was £9,050. The decking was completely destroyed.”
The court heard how Simms tried to extinguish the flames with a hosepipe, and even tried to help a police officer put it out, but ultimately the fire brigade had to take over.
“You made attempts to say there had been an accident. It was only when you were shown the CCTV footage that you admitted what you had done.”
She said the “apparent motivation was unpaid fees.”
Simms, 34, of Forster Street, admitted arson when he appeared at Nottingham Magistrates Court, on July 7.
Stephen Tettey, mitigating, said: “Nobody came to serious risk of harm.”
He said the self-employed painter and decorator cared for his mother, who had recently suffered a stroke, and his “vulnerable eldest son.”
Judge Coe gave Simms a two year prison sentence, of which he will serve half, but made no order for compensation or costs.
Simms was also banned from contacting the woman and going within 500 metres of her address.