Harwich: Arsonist jailed thanks to hard work of detectives
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A man who dangerously set fire to curtains and a carpet in the communal hallway of a block of flats, risking the lives of the residents, has been jailed thanks to the hard work of our detectives.
Edward Teagle, 34, had attended a party on the third floor of the building, in Harwich, which housed a set of multi-occupancy flats, in March this year.
Whilst at the party, he had an argument with his partner.
Angry and intoxicated, he left the flat and went down to the second floor, where he used a lighter to set several curtains and the carpet in the communal hallway alight.
Thankfully, this act raised the building’s alarm system, and the fire was extinguished by residents alerted by the sound and the smoke.
Our Essex Fire and Rescue Service colleagues attended, while our officers were also quickly on the scene.
They arrested Teagle, of Norway Crescent, Harwich, and found a lighter in his possession.
A thorough investigation followed, including gathering CCTV footage of the incident and a forensic examination of the scene.
'There is no excuse for his actions'
T/DC Fletcher Devlin, of Clacton Domestic Abuse Investigations Team, said:
“Confronted with the CCTV footage showing him committing the offences, Teagle was left with no choice but to confirm his presence at the scene. “He claimed he could not remember committing the offences due to being intoxicated, but this is no excuse for his reckless actions. “It is incredibly lucky we weren’t confronted with a far worse outcome.”
Teagle was charged and, due to the weight of evidence compiled against him, admitted arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered.
Appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday 24 August, he was sentenced to two years and six months imprisonment.
DS Thomas Vickers, of Clacton DAIT, added:
“Teagle’s actions risked the lives of multiple people living in that block of flats. “He had been involved in an argument and saw fit to express his anger and displeasure by engaging in an utterly mindless act. “Thanks to the quick work of my team, we were able to gather concrete evidence leading to a solid conviction. “Teagle will spend a term behind bars to reflect on his actions.”
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