Firebomb banker faces jail

Banker Gareth Parkin leaving Newcastle Crown Court Banker
Banker Gareth Parkin leaving Newcastle Crown Court Banker
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A RESPECTED banker brought terror to a family during a firebomb attack on their home.

University graduate Gareth Parkin is now facing jail after he risked the lives of a sleeping family when he targeted their Wearside house.

Parkin yesterday admitted being one of two men involved in the incident at Birchfield, Fatfield, Washington, where a bottle containing an accelerant was hurled through an upstairs window.

The 25-year-old, who now works for a “reputable” banking firm, has been warned he faces a jail term of “some length” for his involvement in the incident which is understood to have centred on a row over a woman.

Police were called to the scene of the incident shortly after 3.50am on Friday, July 30, 2010. Officers quickly made arrests, moving to reassure neighbours living nearby by putting on extra police patrols.

Parkin, of Biddick Lane, Fatfield, had originally faced a charge of attempted arson with intent to endanger life.

But on the day his trial was due to start at Newcastle Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to attempted arson being reckless to whether life would be endangered.

Fortunately, the missile failed to ignite and nobody was hurt in the attack.

Prosecutor Christopher Knox told the court: “This was an attempt, recklessly, to endanger the lives of the residents of the house.”

Mr Recorder Kelbrick adjourned sentence for the preparation of pre-sentence and psychiatric reports.

Parkin, who has never been in trouble before, was granted bail but he must abide by residence and curfew conditions.

The judge warned him: “You must know there is only one type of sentence available for this offence, that is a sentence of custody and a sentence of some length.

“Reports will assist the judge in determining the length of that sentence.”

Glen Gatland, defending, said Parkin may have bereavement issues after the death of his father and is of previous good character.

Mr Gatland said: “He is working for a very reputable company in the banking industry. He is a graduate with a 2.1 degree, working for a bank.”

Shaun Gooch, 24, of Alder Grove, Seaham, admitted the same charge at an earlier hearing.

He has been remanded in custody until the pair are sentenced together.