"Paralytic" Burnley man started fire on communal car park
Elliot Matthews had become aggressive, shouted and sworn, and got in an officer's face when police turned up at Escott Street at 7.30pm. The town's magistrates were told how the fire brigade had been called out to the blaze, started on a communal car park, on October 27.
Matthews, who was not represented by a solicitor, said he was sorry about what happened. The 47-year-old said he had previously had an accident and had been doing stupid things.
The defendant continued: "I had been out to the pub and got quite a bit drunk. Because it was the run up to Bonfire Night, I lit a small camp fire. I collected up junk mail and went out and lit a small camp fire outside my house. They weren't teddy bears. It was junk mail. I was quite paralytic when it happened."
The defendant, of Escott Gardens in Burnley, admitted being drunk and disorderly on Escott Street. He was given a six-month conditional discharge and must pay Â£20 costs and a Â£20 victim surcharge.