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Woman jailed for arson with intent to endanger life - Reading

Wednesday 07 November 2012, 2:37pm

A 42-year-old woman has been jailed for six years after admitting a charge of arson with intent to endanger life.

Michelle Bennett, of Gloucester Road, Reading, pleaded guilty to the offence on 25 September, but was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Friday (2/11).

At 1.15am on 7 May 2012, police received a report from neighbours that Bennett was arguing with a man outside her house in Gloucester Road and was threatening to kill him.

She was later seen by neighbours trying to set fire to something in her back garden and was also heard to threaten to burn her house down.

Michelle BennettShe then called the emergency services and said she thought she had set something alight.

By the time the emergency services had arrived, the annexe to her house was on fire and a 38-year-old man, who was inside the annexe, was forced to jump from a first floor window to escape the flames. He was rushed to hospital suffering from serious burns and smoke inhalation.

The victim, who suffered 27 per cent burns, has had to undergo a number of surgical procedures and has been left with permanent scarring and disfiguring injuries.

Investigating officer Det Con Emma Wright said: “In her summing up the Judge, HHJ Angela Morris commented that this was a very serious offence with devastating consequences to the victim. She also described Bennett as dangerous and a significant risk to the public. It is for these reasons we are very pleased that she has been given a long custodial sentence.”


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