Man jailed for five years for arson attack on Teesside house where ex-wife and disabled children were sleeping (From The Northern Echo)
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Man jailed for five years for arson attack on Teesside house where ex-wife and disabled children were sleeping
A MAN was jailed today (Friday) after deliberately trying to burn down the house in which his estranged wife and their two disabled children were sleeping.
Allan Chan, 56, poured petrol through the letter box of his former marital home and lit it in a “revenge attack” after finding out his former partner had started a new relationship.
At Teesside Crown Court today (Friday October 18), Chan - of Jesmond, Newcastle – was sentenced to five years in prison for the attack, which left his nine-year-old son trembling in fear.
The autistic youngster – who also suffers from hearing loss – and his six-year-old sister, who has cochlear implants, could have lost their lives in the blaze, according to Recorder Paul Camp.
Sentencing Chan, he said: “This was a very wicked and evil thing to do.
“I do not think you are a wicked or evil person, but you got into such a state about your relationship that you behaved in a way that was unbelievably dangerous and could have caused the death of two young children.”
The fire was set at Chan’s former marital home, in Grangetown, Middlesbrough in the early hours of Tuesday, May 28.
Chan initially denied causing the blaze, but went on to plead guilty to one count of committing arson being reckless to whether life was endangered.
Timothy Gittings, mitigating, said Chan had been well regarded in his local community as a hard-working and respected man.
He added: “This would have been a terrifying attack. I do not intend to minimise the fire, but fortunately it did not progress as it could have done and the fire brigade were able to put it out relatively easily.”