Northampton arsonist burgled and set fire to former flatmate's home after being kicked out, court hears

Fire officers believe the fire could have spread to other flats if they had not been called so quickly.
Fire officers believe the fire could have spread to other flats if they had not been called so quickly.

A Northampton arsonist who caused £25,000 in damages when he broken into, robbed and set fire to the home of a former flatmate has been jailed.

Jamie Allen, 20, of Portland Place, was thrown out of the flat in Billing Road after his flatmate described the relationship as "parasitic" and said Allen was "bullying him" into letting him stay rent-free.

The fire at the Billing Road flat began when Jamie Allen broke in, burgled it and set fire to the living room and bedroom.

The fire at the Billing Road flat began when Jamie Allen broke in, burgled it and set fire to the living room and bedroom.

But yesterday (May 18), Northampton Crown Court heard how Allen responded to the eviction by burgling the flat and setting it on fire "while heavily drunk".

His Honour Judge Michael Fowler said: "You don't seem to appreciate the seriousness of why you're here."

The court heard how in March this year, an upstairs neighbour at the Billing Road saw Allen smashing his way into the ground-floor flat and climbing in through a window.

Minutes later, Allen, left by the front door carrying laptops and an iPad he had just stolen. When the neighbour came to investigate, he felt heat coming from the flat and rang 999.

Fire crews rushed to the scene and extinguished the blaze. It is believed it would have spread to other flats if they had not been called sooner.

Meanwhile, the flat's owner returned that night to find his home and possessions destroyed.

Allen, who has a history of offending including burglary, common assault and theft, tutted and shook his head as his crimes were read out.

"You act as if someone is being unfair to you," said Judge Fowler.

"You deliberately set fire to his flat. You caused £25,000 of damage that someone else has to pay for. You put other people's lives at risk. And you deprived that man of his home."

"You have got to take responsibility for your life."

Allen, who pleaded guilty to arson and burglary, was handed a three-and-a-half year sentence in a young offenders institute.