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Arsonist started ‘inferno’ in her flat and said she hoped ‘everyone dies’



An arsonist who began a blaze in her flat and wished everyone in the block dead has avoided an immediate prison sentence.

Aly Wainwright started a fire in the property on April 20 last year, which was described by witnesses as an “inferno”.

The 33-year-old confessed to arson on the day of her trial at Durham Crown Court on September 29, last year, and appeared back at the court to find out her fate on Wednesday.

Her sentencing had been adjourned in order to find her some suitable accommodation to live in.

The court previously heard that Wainwright had been renting her Byker Wall flat from Karbon Homes when the fire happened.

A neighbour who lived below her was woken up at around 8.30am by the sound of his smoke alarm and the noise of debris falling onto his balcony. He then went to see what was going on, according to Chronicle Live.

Prosecutor, Vincent Ward, said: “He saw the defendant sitting watching the fire and he asked her if anyone had called the fire brigade. She was calm and saying ‘I hope it all burns down and everyone dies.’”

The court heard that the fire brigade soon turned up after receiving around 18 calls. Mr Ward added: “When they arrived the defendant was asked if anyone else was inside the flat and she said she hoped so.”

Mr Ward said that CCTV footage showed Wainwright “fiddling with something” outside of her flat before a large amount of flames and smoke appeared. When the police turned up Wainwright identified herself as the occupant of the flat and she was arrested.

Wainwright had two previous convictions for two offences and received a 12 month community order in November 2020 following a confrontation with a neighbour where she “prepared a Molotov cocktail” and placed it outside their flat. The community order was active at the time of the April 20 offence.

Sentencing Wainwright, Judge Ray Singh, said: “This offence could have had catastrophic consequences, because you set fire to a flat which was housed within a block in the Byker Wall area, that was shared by others at the time.”

He added: “There has been a significant improvement in your mental health and the way that you are engaging with the community. You have already served the equivalent of a 17 month custodial sentence and I must take that into account.”

Wainwright was given a two year prison sentence, suspended for two years and ordered to complete 30 rehabilitation activity days.

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