Arsonist who caused £18,000 of damage to social housing has been jailed

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Reece Murphy has been sentenced to three years in prison.

An arsonist who started a fire in his home causing £18,000 worth of damage, has been jailed.

Reece Murphy, started the blaze on Friday, February 24 at his home on Gofton Walk in the West Denton area of Newcastle.

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The 29-year-old then made it difficult for emergency services who rushed to the scene to put out the fire by barricading the front door.

Murphy has already got out of the property, and was later seen by officers wandering outside of the address muttering remarks, before being administered oxygen by paramedics.

Northumbria Police immediately launched an investigation and arrested Murphy on suspicion of arson with intent to endanger life.

The damage caused by the fire to Murphy’s social housing was estimated at more than £18,000.

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At a hearing at Newcastle Crown Court, Murphy pleaded guilty to arson and one count of malicious communications.

At Durham Crown Court, on Tuesday, September 19, he was sentenced to three years in prison, with an extended licence period of three years.

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Following Murphy’s sentencing, Detective Inspector Ben McIntosh, of Northumbria Police, said: “It is incredibly fortunate that Murphy’s despicable actions did not cause serious injury to himself or other people on the night he started the fire.

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“He showed a total disregard to the law and the property of others, and after starting the blaze, he made it more difficult for responders to put the fire out by barricading the door to his home.

"Had emergency services not responded as quickly as they did, his actions could have caused a huge amount of damage to not only his own home but neighbouring properties.”

Det Insp McIntosh added: “We are grateful to all of the witnesses who came forward to assist us in our investigation into this incident.

“Murphy is now rightly behind bars after admitting his heinous crimes where he will have time to reflect on what he has done.”

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Reece MurphyReece Murphy
Reece Murphy

He continued: “I hope the sentence handed down sends out a strong message that this type of behaviour will simply not be tolerated, and we will look to bring those who endanger the lives of others in our communities to justice.”