Watch moment arsonist torches stolen car dumped in Sunderland

An arsonist is behind bars after he torched a stolen car that had been crashed and abandoned in Sunderland.

By Faye Dixon
Tuesday, 30 July, 2019, 18:25

Tyrone Richardson, 31, approached the Nissan Micra that had been left on Norfolk Street, Sunderland, shortly after 3am on Thursday, June 20.

The vehicle had been stolen from the Witherwack area by an unknown offender just two days after the victim had bought it.

Police had been called by members of the public who heard the vehicle smash into a lamppost and a number of bollards. The driver fled the scene.

The car was smashed up and abandoned

CCTV cameras later showed Richardson get into the front seat of the vehicle and set it on fire, then make off from the scene.

Richardson, of Hylton Road, Sunderland, admitted arson and failure to provide a specimen on Friday, June 21.

He was at Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, July 19, and was jailed for one year and disqualified from driving for two-and-a-half years.

PC Jennifer Christie, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a malicious arson that caused significant damage to a motor vehicle and could easily have endangered the lives of anybody passing by.

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He approached the smashed-up Nissan Micra and torched it

“Richardson showed a total disregard to the law and the property of others.

"Had emergency services not have responded quickly, his actions could have caused a huge amount of damage in the city centre.

“Upon arrest, Richardson showed no remorse and did not cooperate with police. His decision to plead guilty came at the eleventh hour, when the weight of evidence against him was overwhelming.”

An investigation is ongoing into the theft of the car. The victim had bought the vehicle for £500 just two days before it was stolen from outside her property in Witherwack.

An investigation is still ongoing into the theft of the car

In a statement read out in court, she said: “It has shaken me that somebody could just take something that belonged to me. It took me a long time to save the money for this car and now I will have to start again.”

Anyone with information or who saw anything suspicious on Thursday, June 20, is asked to contact 101 quoting 82 200619 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.