Man jailed for deliberately starting tower block fires

Published: Tuesday 29th July 14

A 19-year-old man has been jailed for a year for deliberately starting two fires at the housing block in Battersea where he lives.

Liam Hynes, of Scholey House on the York Road estate was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment by a judge at Kingston Crown Court on Friday.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of arson after evidence gleaned from CCTV cameras operated by the council’s housing department identified him as the arsonist.

The council will now be taking legal action to repossess the property he lives in on the grounds that his
criminal behaviour constitutes a serious breach of the tenancy conditions.

The council’s housing spokesman Cllr Paul Ellis said: “These were mindless and unforgiveable acts by this foolish young man who put the lives of his neighbours in real danger.

“Fortunately the two fires were both small and quickly dealt with by the fire brigade but they could have had tragic consequences.

“I’m pleased to say that our CCTV footage played a decisive role in helping the police identify Mr Hynes and providing incontrovertible evidence of his guilt.

“Now that he has been convicted of these serious offences the council will be taking additional legal action to ensure his swift removal from Scholey House. As a consequence of his own actions, he will no longer enjoy the benefit of living in a council flat.

“We have an absolute zero tolerance of those who commit criminal acts or engage in anti-social behaviour on our housing estates. The vast majority of our tenants expect nothing less from us.”

Victims of anti-social behaviour in Wandsworth can get help and advice from the town hall. Council tenants or leaseholders who need assistance should call (020) 8871 6829. People living in privately-owned accommodation should call (020) 8871 8894.

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