Woman set fire to home in rage over unwanted Valentine’s Day present

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A woman sparked a Valentine’s Day blaze at her home after becoming emotional due to an unwanted gift from an admirer.

Nikita Walton set fire to a necklace, bearing a cross charm, then torched the blinds in her kitchen and living room on February 14.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the 24-year-old extinguished the flames before leaving the house, which was filled with thick, black smoke, carrying a young child who had been inside.

Her screams altered a neighbour, who ran to the house at School Road, East Rainton, to try to help.

Walton, who had a bottle and a half of wine the night before, was “hysterical” at the scene of the early-morning blaze.

The court heard a resident at a neighbouring house was heavily pregnant at the time of the fire.

Walton told police during interview she had been befriended by a man who would frequently buy her gifts.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court; “She described how the male’s attention was unwanted. She wasn’t sure how to end the friendship. On the morning of February 14, he gave her a necklace with a cross on.

“She described she was overcome with emotions, not knowing how to deal with the matter.

“She decided to set fire to the necklace in the sink and was later to set fire to the blinds in the kitchen and the blinds in the living room.”

Walton admitted arson being reckless to whether life was endangered.

Judge Deborah Sherwin sentenced her to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with programme requirements.