Angry Sunderland mum sparked blaze at home of "friend with benefits"

An angry mum who sparked a blaze at the home of her "friend with benefits" because she thought he had gone to meet another woman has kept her freedom.

Friday, 20th August 2021, 4:54 pm
Kierra Levitt.

Kierra Levitt was left alone in the man's flat when he went out at at around 10.15pm on December 19 last year and had ordered them a pizza for when he got back.

But Newcastle Crown Court heard, while he was away, the 30-year-old sparked a fire in his hallway then sent him messages warning "be the last time you tryand mug me off", "watch your house go up in flames" and "you won't have no home left" and got a taxi home.

Prosecutor Vince Ward told the court: "It is clear from the messages that she thought he had met another woman."The court heard Levitt, who has never been in trouble before, has since sought help for mental health problems and has caring responsibilities.Judge Julie Clemitson sentenced her to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation, alcohol treatment and curfew requirements.

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The judge told her: "You were clearly not thinking about the consequences of your actions because you were so blinded by your own anger at that point."

The court heard the delivery driver who had tried to drop off the fast food that night had seen the silhouette of someone in the property, which was abovea shop at Thorndale Road, Sunderland, when he tried to deliver the pizza initially but got no answer.

He returned ten minutes later, the front door was open and when he saw the place was on fire he feared someone was inside.

Prosecutor Vince Ward told the court: "He tried to put the fire out using water and a wet towel but by the time he got back to it, having searched the flat, it had grown considerably and he wasunable to put it out so he ran out and phoned the fire service.

"When he got out he could see fire by that time had taken over the whole of the doorway."

The court heard the victim got back at around 11pm and the fire service were there.

The owner of the property said the flat sustained fire, smoke and water damage and the shop below was also affected and had to be closed for three days.

Mr Ward said there was no figure for the exact amount of damage caused but could be estimated at "four figures".

The court heard Levitt had met the flat tenant over Facebook and he said they were "friends with benefits".

Mr Ward said they had drank alcohol together before the man went out that night.

When arrested the next morning, Levitt said she had been "raging" and "no-one was going to make a mug of her".

Levitt, of Essex Grove, Sunderland, admitted arson being reckless to whether life would be endangered.

Rachel Hedworth, defending, said Levitt has never been in trouble before, has character references and has caring responsibilities.

Miss Hedworth said Levitt's behaviour was "utterly out of character" and accepted the delivery driver "risked his own life" by going into the buildingto try and save her.

The court heard Levitt has mental health issues and has sought professional intervention.