Burnley mum jailed for torching home with toddler inside

JAILED: Tara Sharrock
JAILED: Tara Sharrock

A drunken mum torched her home while she and her toddler were inside and then tried to blame her boyfriend for the £11,000 blaze, even though he had helped rescue her.

Burnley Crown Court was told how Tara Sharrock (23) had set a sofa alight last September, filling the house with toxic fumes as the three-year-old slept in bed and leaving the rented property severely heat and smoke damaged.

Sharrock, said to have had alcohol and cannabis problems, could have killed not just the child and herself, but her neighbours in her fit of temper.

After the defendant and her daughter had been saved from the burning house by two police officers and her partner Danny Fisher, she screamed at him. She has now been locked up for two years.

Sharrock, from Richmond Street, Burnley, admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered. She had no previous convictions.

Prosecutor Lisa Worsley told the hearing two police officers were on patrol in Burnley, when they were flagged down by Danny Fisher, who told them his girlfriend tried to punch him. One officer remained with Mr Fisher while the other went to Richmond Street to check on Sharrock.

Miss Worsley said the officer noted the defendant smelled strongly of alcohol, her eyes were glazed and he thought she was very drunk. He also saw Sharrock had some blood on her chin and a minor cut on her right arm. At about 11pm, he heard an alarm going off and the sound seemed to be coming from Sharrock’s home. He went up a side alley by the house and saw black smoke coming from it.

The prosecutor said the officer tried to get in and failed but was helped by his colleague and Mr Fisher and Sharrock and her daughter were brought out.

The cost of repairs to the property was £10,000. There was also a £1,000 loss of rent.

Jeremy Coleman (defending) handed the judge a letter from the defendant and certificates from courses she had completed while on remand.

Mr Coleman said Sharrock had a difficult childhood with her parents taking drugs and that she had had to assume responsibility for her siblings. She had been in foster care and left when she was 15.

Passing sentence, Recorder Michael Blakey told the defendant it was heartening to see that while on remand, she had been seeking to make something of herself and trying to get back on track.

He added: “You set fire to your house. You had your child with you at the time. It could have resulted in the death not only of your daughter, but you and other people along that terrace.”