Manchester news Drunk bus driver set fire to his own flat then hid from firefighters Manchester united news
MetiNews.Com - Anthony Doyle, 48, was 'heavily intoxicated' and has no memory of what happened.
Breaking News ! Children were forced to flee from an apartment block when their drunken neighbour set fire to his own flat. Anthony Doyle, 48, told fire crews he couldn’t escape when flames took hold in his flat at St David’s Court, in Cheetham Hill. Firefighters entered the property with breathing equipment but drunken Doyle “hid” from them and they were forced to use thermal imaging cameras to find and help him to safety, a court heard. Former bus driver Doyle was said to be “heavily intoxicated” during the incident last January 24 and has no memory of what happened. He has now been jailed for 27 months after pleading guilty to arson being reckless. Three fire engines attended to tackle the fire (Image: MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS) During a sentencing hearing at Manchester Crown Court, Judge Bernadette Baxter said: “It’s clear you have a very bad drinking problem." Doyle had worked as a bus driver for 22 years but lost his job after the incident. The court heard that neighbours - who had previously had problems with Doyle - heard noise coming from his flat at around 7pm on the night of the fire. Read More Related Articles 'He would lock me in the house to "keep me safe" and hide my bank card' Read More Related Articles Get the day's most-important news direct to your inbox One resident started to smell smoke and another saw Doyle hanging out of his window and coughing. Neighbours called the emergency services and police and three fire engines raced to the block of 20 flats where Doyle lived on the fourth floor. All residents - including two unaccompanied children aged 11 and 13 - had to be evacuated, the court heard. When firefighters arrived they saw Doyle “hanging out of the window” saying he couldn’t get out of the flat. Firefighters had to use thermal imaging cameras to find Doyle through “thick smoke” and flames which had burnt a mattress through to the springs. Follow reporter Beth Abbit on social media To follow Beth on Twitter, click here Or to like her Facebook page and keep up to with the latest news, click here Here's the link to the M.E.
The court heard that the fire started at a single bed in the bedroom but “quickly took hold and was beginning to spread”, though there was no damage to other properties. During a police interview, Doyle gave a prepared statement in which he stated that he had consumed a lot of alcohol and had no memory of the incident. He himself described the flat as a fire hazard. Doyle, of St David’s Court, in Cheetham Hill, has previous convictions for criminal damage and affray. Hugh Barton, defending Doyle, said the damage to Doyle’s flat, which he owns, was not extensive. Mr Barton said Doyle had been suffering from “low mood” at the time of the arson and said he describes himself as a “binge alcoholic” who would go without drinking at all while working but would then drink to excess.
Mr Barton said Doyle cannot remember his actions and is shocked by them. He has lost his job as a bus driver - a position he held for 22 years - as a result, he said. Judge Baxter acknowledged Doyle’s good work record and background of alcoholism.
Firefighters had to use breathing apparatus to rescue Doyle
(Image: MANCHESTER EVENING NEWS)
She also acknowledged that nobody was harmed during the incident but told Doyle “that was good luck rather than good judgement on your part”. She said: “For reasons you can’t remember you deliberately set fire to that flat." Noting Doyle’s inability to escape from the flat once the fire had started she added: “You said you were inside and couldn’t get out and firefighters had to wear breathing apparatus to get in. "But you appeared to be hiding from them when they got into the flat and they had to find you with a thermal imaging camera.” Doyle was jailed for 27 months and ordered to pay a victim surcharge.
Source = MetiNews.Com