Crawley's Amy Winter jailed for repeated arsons in Brighton
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A Crawley woman who repeatedly dialled 999 to report fires she had started herself has been jailed.
Amy Winter, 42, of Trefoil Crescent in Crawley, forced police, firefighters and paramedics to an address in Surrey Street, Brighton, on Christmas Eve in 2020, where they were threatened and assaulted.
At 2.45pm on December 24, 2020, East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service received a call from Winter claiming there was a fire at a Surrey Street flat and she was struggling to breathe. Firefighters responded and extinguished a small fire.
Winter again made a concerning call to 999 shortly before 3.20pm. Police officers and paramedics attended to find her with a head injury, but she became threatening and abusive when they tried to help.
After being assessed by a mental health officer, Winter calmed down and police officers left the scene.
While paramedics remained in Surrey Street to complete paperwork at 4.12pm, firefighters arrived on blue lights having just been called to the scene by Winter.
They found bedding had been set alight inside, which they extinguished. But as they were leaving, firefighters noticed flames through an internal window.
Winter locked the door behind them, but after forcing entry they found her bed had been set alight and she was feigning unconsciousness on the floor.
Police returned and she was arrested on suspicion of arson with recklessness as to endanger life and subsequently charged.
At Lewes Crown Court on Monday (April 11) she was sentenced to 28 months imprisonment after pleading guilty.
Investigator Rose Horan said: “Amy Winter’s reckless behaviour endangered the lives of her neighbours, firefighters and the wider public. She deliberately started fires and was aggressive towards members of the emergency services.
“All of the police officers, paramedics and firefighters who attended on Christmas Eve displayed incredible patience with her.
“This custodial sentence should send a message to her and others not to waste the valuable time and resources of the emergency services."