Late night arsonist spared jail

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AN arsonist who targeted two restaurants in late-night attacks has been spared jail.

Glenn Smith, who had been drinking and taking methadrone, set a series of fires after smashing his way into Pizza Hut at Boldon Business Park, causing more than £4,000 in damage.

The 20-year-old also targeted waste bins behind Frankie and Benny’s next door, causing £200 damage, during the attacks in the early hours of May 30 last year.

The court heard Smith had been making his way home from a night out when he decided to attack the businesses.

Smith also deliberately smashed a printer which was on a desk at Pizza Hut. The court heard Smith has no history of employment or grudges against either company.

Smith, of, Wilton Gardens South, Boldon Colliery, pleaded guilty to two charges of arson and one of damaging property.

Vic Laffey, defending, said Smith has been “brought up properly” by decent parents who are mystified by his behaviour.

The court heard Smith was cautioned five years ago for setting fire to some school blinds and has been convicted of criminal damage on the Metro where he kicked out some windows last year.

Judge Michael Cartlidge sentenced Smith to 12 months imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with supervision.