Jail for South Shields woman who torched Good Samaritan's home

Arsonist Natalie Dodsworth has been jailed for two years and eight months
Arsonist Natalie Dodsworth has been jailed for two years and eight months

A woman has been put behind bars and branded a public danger after starting a blaze at the front door of a good Samaritan who had given her a home.

Natalie Dodsworth had been allowed to live temporarily live at the house of another woman in Coupland Grove, Jarrow, after falling on hard times but was told in April she would no longer be welcome.

Natalie Dodsworth

Natalie Dodsworth

Newcastle Crown Court heard that, three days after the homeowner said she would have to leave, the 34-year-old stocked up on firelighters and barbeque fluid from a local garage which she used to ignite a fire at the woman's front door.

The afternoon arson revenge attack resulted in damage to just the front door area and the householder was not at home at the time.

A shed in the back garden was also sprayed with the flammable liquid but had not been lit.

Dodsworth, of Mannet Gardens, South Shields, admitted arson, and has been jailed for two years and eight months.

The judge told her she poses a high risk to the public.

The court heard Dodsworth was on a community order for a violent attack on an ex-partner when she started the blaze and has convictions for more than 40 previous offences.

Judge Robert Adams said Dodsworth is "not remorseful" for the fire attack but has accepted responsibility for her actions.

Judge Adams told her: "She had allowed you to stay at her address but problems developed and you were told to leave. This clearly was a premeditated attack. You bought accelerant and lighters.

"The house is semi-detached. You didn't know whether or not there was a neighbour in. You have limited victim empathy and pose a high risk of causing serious harm to the public."

Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, told the court Dodsworth had known the householder through a mutual friend.

Mr Wardlaw said: "Because of difficulties the defendant was having with accommodation, she allowed the defendant to stay with her. There were initially no issues between the two.

"But things came to a head and the complainant told the defendant she would have to leave.

"The date of the offence was April 22. The notice to quite was three days previously."

Peter Walsh, defending, said Dodsworth has a history of health problems and serious psychiatric difficulties resulting from a deeply troubled background.