Prolific arsonist jailed for torching cars in Wall Heath

Simon Glazzard

Simon Glazzard

First published in Local
Last updated

AN arsonist who endangered the lives of Wall Heath residents when he set a pub outbuilding and four parked cars on fire, has been jailed for 10 years.

Judge Michael Dudley told Simon Glazzard - described as having a "fascination with fire" - he would have to stay on licence for a further five years after his release.

He said it was clear the 37-year-old, who was sentenced to four years in 2002 when he set fire to a store in High Street, Dudley causing £310,000 damage, was dangerous.

The judge told Glazzard: "It is unknown just how long you will present a risk to members of the public," as he stressed he would only be allowed back onto the streets when he was safe.

Glazzard set fire to a £3,000 Vauxhall car parked just two feet away from the home of a 70-year-old woman and her disabled husband in Beechcroft Road and she later told police they feared for their lives.

The woman, in a victim impact statement, said she felt her husband would have been trapped in their home if the fire had spread, adding: "I keep thinking about what could have happened."

Homeless Glazzard also destroyed an £11,000 BMW by fire, a £15,000 VW Golf and a £300 Vauxhall, which had also been parked in Beechcroft Road and Holbeech Croft, over the course of just two hours.

Madhu Rai, prosecuting, said he had first started a fire in a field in Wolverhampton Road, Wall Heath, to "keep warm" and the blaze was dealt with by firemen.

Glazzard then approached a police officer who attended the scene to ask why the fire had been extinguished and became extremely abusive.

Firefighters left the scene, said Mrs Rai, only to return a short time later to deal with the burning BMW and when they were again on their way back to their station they had to return to put out the blazing VW Golf and the two burning Vauxhalls.

Police arrested Glazzard after spotting him in the area with a cigarette lighter he used to start the fires.

Mrs Rai said the owner of the Golf lived with his 85-year-old mother and she had been left "extremely anxious" by the events of the evening.

Glazzard, of no fixed address, admitted two charges of arson and being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The alcoholic denied arson and being reckless with a fire in an outbuilding at the derelict Albion Inn in Wall Heath but he was convicted by a jury at the end of his trial.

Simon Hanns, defending, described Glazzard as a "troubled and troubling" man who had been leading a "very sad lifestyle".

He told Wolverhampton Crown Court: "Fortuitously no-one was injured although they could have been. He accepts there was a risk of the fires spreading. I cannot put forward anything to suggest he is not dangerous."

The judge told Glazzard the dangers from fires were numerous adding: "I am entirely satisfied you pose a significant risk to members of the public of further specified offences."

He said the extended licence period would enable the authorities to keep his risk under observation for "many years to come".

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