A MAN who set fire to a pile of rubbish in his flat saying he "wanted to die" has been jailed for 20 months.

Darren Smith, 44, was living in supported accommodation at Grattan Road in Bradford city centre, when he started the fire on January 1, 2020.

He was also suffering from mental health issues at the time, Bradford Crown Court heard.

Appearing via video link from HMP Leeds, Smith had earlier pleaded guilty to reckless arson.

Prosecutor Conor Quinn told the court that Smith had been living in a complex of flats in the city centre for vulnerable people at the time. He piled rubbish in the corner of his room and set it alight, setting off the smoke alarm.

This alerted wardens who were able to put out the fire. The flats needed to be evacuated, but no one was injured.

Mr Quinn said the police were called as staff feared a repeat of the arson. When asked why he had set the fire, Smith was said to have responded by saying: "I don't know - I want to die."

He added that there had been initial concerns about his fitness to plead and a psychiatric report had been prepared.

Simon Hustler, for Smith, said the fire was "of modest stature" and was best seen as a "cry for help".

Judge Jonathan Gibson told Smith that although the fire was modest, you never knew how fast it would spread, particularly in residential accommodation.