A MAN “simply flipped” when he set fire to his own bed after becoming frustrated with noisy neighbours.
James Ibinson had “stewed” over noise coming from the neighbouring property to his house on Baker Street in Town End Farm, Sunderland, before emptying a bottle of white spirit on to his bed and torching it.
He then emptied another bottle of the flammable liquid on to the carpet, before going outside to phone police, telling them: “I’ve just had enough”.
It took three fire engines to put out the blaze at the Gentoo property, where Ibinson had lived for a number of years.
Black smoke was billowing from the upstairs windows when emergency services arrived, and two firefighters entered the burning building to search for the defendant.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that Ibinson had waited until his next-door neighbours had gone out on April 25 this year, before igniting the blaze.
Bridie Smurthwaite, prosecuting, said: “He went upstairs, poured out white spirit on his bed and set light to it.”
Jamie Adams, defending, said that his client had been suffering from severe depression at the time of the offence, but was now on the road to recovery.
Ibinson, now of Turner Avenue, South Shields, pleaded guilty to arson, and was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 12 months’ supervision.
Sentencing him yesterday, Judge Brian Freedman called the blaze a “tragedy”.
The judge said: “It’s a tragedy in many respects. You became mentally unwell with a depressive disorder.
“You simply flipped.”