Sunderland teen who set fire to mum’s curtains with hairspray given last chance to turn her life around

Newcastle Crown Court
Newcastle Crown Court
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A young woman has been spared jail after setting fire to her mother’s curtains with a can of hairspray.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Shannon Nilsson deliberately set fire to the property on May 9 after being told she could not stay there any more by her mother.

This may be the last chance you get in your life to put offending behind you.

Recorder Mark McKone

The 19-year-old used hairspray as a accelerant to set the house alight and neighbours were alerted to the smoke coming from the flat.

Nilsson was dragged out of the flat and the blaze was put out by the fire brigade.

Nilsson, of Presthope Road, Pennywell, admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Jamie Adams, defending, said Nilsson had an extremely difficult childhood.

He said: “She has been an island all to herself all her life. She has had to think independently for herself. She was throwing her arms up in the air doing something drastic.

“And of course she has done something drastic.

“She has been in custody for a few months, you have seen what effect it’s had. It extremely has shocked her to be there. She’s showing she can now think clearly over what it is she has to do to sort her life out.”

The judge, Recorder Mark McKone, told Nilsson: “It’s clear to me that your period in prison since this offence has had a real effect on you. You deliberately set fire to the curtains, using hair spray as an accelerator.

“That put the lives of others at risk. I am going to proceed on the basis there was limited damage caused to the flat.

“The serious nature of the offence was the risk to the lives of other people close by.”

Recorder McKone sentenced Nelsson to 20 months in a young offenders’ institution, suspended for two years.

He added: “It’s very unusual for people not to be sent to custody for a long time for setting fire to an inside of a house. I am taking exceptional circumstances with you. This may be the last chance you get in your life to put offending behind you.”