A distressed woman who set fire to her home in a drunken cry for help has been spared an immediate jail sentence.

Samantha Downton had been drinking heavily and was in despair when she started a blaze at her home in Spring Street, Stockbridge, Keighley, on June 5 last year, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday. Downton, 35, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered. Her case was adjourned for a probation report to look at her emotional state and she attended a well-woman clinic while on bail. Her solicitor advocate, Michael Reeves, said her life had now settled down.

Judge Jonathan Rose said the fire was probably both a suicide attempt and a cry for help.

He sentenced Downton to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision.