Drunk woman set fire to her curtains, court told

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A DRUNK woman set fire to the curtains of her own flat, a court heard.

Melissa Sinden is accused of deliberately starting the fire in her home above the Cheveley Park shops in Belmont, Durham City.

Durham Crown Court heard Sinden went back into the burning property to rescue her cat, Dave.

When firefighters turned up, they heard the 41-year-old screaming and went in to save the her.

Watch Manager Gary Bankhead said: “She was struggling, she didn’t want to come. She kept saying she had to get the cat. The fire was put out quite quickly. No cat was found.” Prosecutor Adrian Dent told the jury Sinden initially denied starting the fire, but then said it had begun accidentally as she was trying to burn off snags in the curtains caused by the cat.

He added: “On her own account, Ms Sinden had drunk one bottle of wine and had started another. Several of those who attended the scene formed the impression she was drunk.”

Sinden, formerly of The Links, Cheveley Park, Belmont, denies arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.