Man who set fire to mid-terraced house jailed for almost four years
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A man who deliberately set fire to a mid-terraced house in Horsham has been jailed for almost four years.
Shortly after 11am on 25 May 2017, police were contacted by West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service regarding the incident in Laughton Road.
The fire – which cause approximately £88,000 worth of damage – had started in a first floor bedroom and was thankfully extinguished before it could spread to neighbouring properties.
The house was unoccupied at the time, but was home to a woman and her two children.
A forensic examination of the scene concluded the fire was deliberately started, and police enquiries led to the arrest of Fabrizio Indovino, 43, a residential care worker, of Denne Parade, Horsham.
In police interview, the defendant denied having been anywhere near the property in the weeks leading up to the fire. But a search of his premises revealed a fuel receipt from the nearby Tesco Express petrol station – CCTV was checked and showed Indovino had filled up a jerry can and cycled with it towards the scene of the fire shortly before it happened.
He was charged with arson and originally denied the offence, and the case was due to go for trial; however he later changed his plea to guilty.
At Hove Crown Court on 18 March, Indovino was sentenced to 43 months’ imprisonment.
A further charge of arson with intent to endanger life will lie on file.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Stuart Beckett, said: “This was a mindless act which caused a significant amount of damage to the property, costing tens of thousands of pounds to repair. But it could have been a whole lot worse – thankfully no one was in the house at the time, and the incident was brought under control by the fire service before it could spread any further.”
Richard Bradley, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service’s Business Fire Safety Training and Quality Assurance Manager, said: “Following this fire in May 2017, our fire investigators worked closely with officers from Sussex Police and carried out a thorough investigation of the property.
“It became clear quite quickly that we were dealing with a case of arson, and we were able to support the police as they built their case.
“This incident had the potential to be significantly worse than it turned out to be, which has been recognised by the severity of the sentence handed down to the defendant.”