A resident at a Bradford care centre has been jailed for 16 months for setting fire to his room putting vulnerable patients and staff at risk.

Joe Duncan, 21, was trying to harm himself when he lit his mattress at The Links in Kismet Gardens, Bradford Moor, in the early hours of July 29, his barrister Rodney Ferm said today.

Bradford Crown Court heard that there are 85 residents at the home that employs 100 staff round the clock offering nursing, mental health and dementia care.

Duncan ignited his mattress with a lighter at 2am when there were residents and staff sleeping on the same corridor, prosecutor Michael Smith said.

Staff tried to put out the blaze but it had taken hold and the fire service was called.

Duncan pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The court heard he had five previous convictions for ten offences of battery and criminal damage in care home settings.

Mr Ferm said that Duncan had severe mental health problems and had been in custody in Leeds Prison for four months.

At the time he started the blaze he could not see a way forward in life.

“He was going to be the victim of the fire,” Mr Ferm said.

His unfortunate childhood, when he was the victim of neglect, had left a lifelong imprint on him and he had been diagnosed by a psychiatrist with ADHD and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr Ferm said Duncan had expressed heartfelt remorse. It was his first experience of custody and he was making progress to tackle his mental health problems.

He would be found accommodation on his own when he was released.

“He won’t be a fire risk again. He knows what would happen to him in the future,” Mr Ferm said.

Recorder Ashley Serr said Duncan had been living at the care centre since December 2020 and seemed to be making progress there.

He had flicked a cigarette and then a lighter at the mattress to set it on fire.

At first the blaze was small but it grew big enough to destroy the bed and damage the wall of the room.

Staff rushed to investigate before calling the emergency services.

Recorder Serr conceded that Duncan had serious mental health problems at the time and that he was the intended victim of the fire but it could have seriously damaged the care centre and caused injury or even death.