Arson charge

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A WOMAN has appeared in court charged with starting a fire at a house.

Sophie Marie Stephenson, 30, appeared at Durham Crown Court in connection with an arson charge.

She was accused of arson with intent to endanger life, but denied the charge and entered a guilty plea to the lesser offence of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The offence occurred at a rented East Durham Homes property in Peterlee on May 14. The damage caused to the interior of the property was valued at £2,247.28.

Stephenson, now of Murray Street, Hartlepool, has been bailed until sentencing on October 9.