Mum who was left in coma after starting £56,000 blaze at her home is jailed

Kelly Rock
Kelly Rock

A mum who was left in a coma after she started a £56,000 blaze at her home has been jailed.

Kelly Rock sparked the fire in her living room last March, using some sort of accelerant, and then went to bed.

Police in Hendon Burn Avenue after the fire.

Police in Hendon Burn Avenue after the fire.

Newcastle Crown Court heard emergency services were called to the scene when a dog walker passed by chance and noticed the flames.

The 37-year-old's former partner, who had found out what was going on, bravely broke into the back of the house to try and save his ex.

Both ended up needing rescued by the fire service due to the ferocity of the blaze.

Rock, then of Hendon Burn Avenue, Sunderland, was found guilty by a jury of arson with intent to endanger life.

She wept in the dock as Judge Jeremy Freedman jailed her for four years.

The judge told her: "Fortunately for you, and for everyone else in the neighbourhood, a neighbour walked a dog saw smoke and alerted another neighbour and the emergency services were called.

"Fortunately, nobody suffered long term physical injuries though you did spend five days in hospital, part of that time in a coma.

"In setting the fire, of course you put your own life at risk but also the life of anyone who tried to rescue you, in this case your ex partner.

"The fire, if not contained, could have spread rapidly to adjacent houses."

The court heard Rock has suffered violence and emotional abuse in the past and has been traumatised by her experiences in life.

She is prone to "impulsive and irrational behaviour" due to her history of depression.

Rock has never been involved in such serious offending in the past.

Judge Freedman said he was satisfied she poses a "risk of harm" to the public when she is at a low ebb but is not dangerous.

The judge added: "I would be failing in my public duty if I did not impose an immediate sentence of custody."