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Jail for man who started fire in his Buttershaw flat
6:00am Tuesday 17th September 2013 in News
A 40-year-old man was jailed for arson after he started a fire using broken fencing inside his flat to cook and keep warm.
Paul Daynes, of Brackenholme Royd, Buttershaw, Bradford, was due to be sentenced at the city's crown court yesterday but refused to leave his cell at Leeds Prison and the case had to go ahead in his absence.
Last month Daynes went on trial accused of recklessly endangering the lives of three neighbours in the two-storey block when he started the fire in the rented flat back in April.
At the end of his trial the jury cleared him of that offence, but convicted Daynes on the less serious charge of simple arson.
Judge John Potter yesterday sentenced Daynes to 30 months in jail for the arson matter.
The jury heard during the trial how Daynes had removed the gas fire at his home and started a blaze in the hearth.
He admitted pulling out the gas heater and using broken fence posts and paper to light a fire in the hearth.
After he threw on an empty gas canister that had contained lighter fuel he went to the shops.
Daynes told the court he had lived alone at the flat for five years with his dog and after his benefit payments had been stopped for ten weeks he had no gas or electricity.
He said it was a cold day and he put about ten pieces of broken fencing in the hearth to build a fire for warmth.
“I was going to do some cooking on it as well,” he told the jury.
He watched the flames for about ten minutes and then went out to a nearby shop for dog food and milk.
When he returned a neighbour was outside and he went into his flat and threw a pint of water from a glass on to the flames. The blaze went out but the water created smoke and the fire service and police arrived.
Daynes said he hoped to bake potatoes in foil on the fire.
“If it had been out of control, I would not have gone out,” he said.