Drunk arsonist jailed over rage induced fire

A Skegness man who set fire to his own home in drunken anger after being ordered to attend a DWP medical examination was last week jailed for a total of five years at Lincoln Crown Court.

Christopher Stemp started fires in both the living room and a bedroom within his bungalow in Gleneagles Drive in the town.

The arson put the lives at risk of firefighters called out to deal with the incident and also the lives of neighbours.

On the same day Stemp also threatened to burn down the caravans of his friends Arthur Newton and Gill Wilson.

Stemp,37, of Gleneagles Drive, Skegness, denied reckless arson on March 7 and two charges of threatening to damage property but was convicted by a jury following a trial.

He was abusive to the prosecutor Mark Watson during the trial and after the guilty verdict sacked his own defence barrister, Joanne Staples.

Judge Michael Heath said it was the worst outburst he had witnessed in 40 years in the legal profession.

The judge told Stemp: “You were found guilty by the jury on the clearest of evidence.

“You had been drinking significant quantities of alcohol and you were very angry as you had been contacted by the DWP in Boston who required you to attend a medical examination.”

Chris Geeson, defending, said Stemp had significant problems arising from a medical accident and also has psychiatric problems.

“It is his case that on that day effectively everything caught up with him.

“He had been trying his best to sort out a number of problems with money, his medication and day-to-day living.

“The whole situation got on top of him. He faces an inevitable custodial sentence. He is due to have one of his legs amputated.

That will have to be dealt with whilst he is in custody.

“His stay in custody will be made much worse by his physical problems.”

Mr Geeson said Stemp had no previous convictions and acted out of character.