A SOUTH Tyneside man “simply flipped” when he set fire to his own bed after becoming frustrated with noisy neighbours.
James Ibinson, now of Turner Avenue, South Shields, had “stewed” over noise coming from the neighbouring property to his house before emptying a bottle of white spirit onto his bed and torching it.
The 64-year-old then emptied another bottle of the flammable liquid onto the carpet, before going outside to phone police, telling them: “I’ve just had enough.”
It took three fire engines to put out the blaze at the Gentoo property in Baker Street, Town End Farm, Sunderland, where Ibinson had lived for a number of years.
Black smoke was billowing from the upstairs windows when emergency services arrived and two firefighters entered the burning building to search for the defendant.
Newcastle Crown Court heard that Ibinson had waited until his next door neighbours had gone out on April 25 this year, before igniting the blaze.
Fire crews arrived at 7.40pm and extinguished the fire. Ibinson called the police and immediately confessed to setting the fire and said he was “sorry for doing that”.
Bridie Smurthwaite, prosecuting, said: “In interview he said he had stewed because of noise next door, which the neighbour doesn’t accept.”
Jamie Adams, defending, said that his client had been suffering from severe depression at the time of the offence but was now on the road to recovery.
Ibinson, pleaded guilty to arson, and was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 12 months supervision.
Sentencing him, Judge Brian Freedman said: “It’s a tragedy in many respects.
“You became mentally unwell with a depressive disorder.
“You were not able to tolerate the noises coming from the neighbouring property and on April 25 this year you simply flipped and decided to set fire to your house.
“You used white spirit in your bedroom to start the fire.
“Fortunately within a matter of minutes you came to your senses.
“You went outside to phone the police and emergency services were summoned before anybody was caused any injury.
“You had of course taken the precaution to wait until your neighbours had left the property or you would be standing here on a much more serious charge.”