Weston man sentenced after threatening to burn down care home

Alexander Smith received a 57 week sentence. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Alexander Smith received a 57 week sentence. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary - Credit: Archant

A Weston man who threatened to burn down a care home will not serve his prison sentence after he was adjudged to have spent long enough behind bars.

Alexander Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of arson at Victoria Court care home, in Victoria Park, and having a bladed article in public.

On February 16 at 10.10pm, police received a phone call from the nursing home from a staff member who reported Smith had started a fire in his bathroom.

A smoke alarm went off shortly after 9pm and Smith ran out of his room and shouted 'what the f*** is going on?'.

Staff went into his room and found the side of his bathroom door had been burnt and a strong smell of smoke.

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Smith, aged 56 of Victoria Park, told staff he was 'going to burn the place down' and returned to his room where staff again saw signs of smoke.

Victoria Court residents were evacuated, with two people needing to be taken to hospital for smoke inhalation treatment.

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One person was treated for angina caused by shock but their condition was not serious.

Victoria Court cares for a maximum of six adults with learning disabilities and mental health conditions.

In a separate incident, Smith was stopped by police in Broadmead on October 29 last year, who found knife in his coat pocket, which he obtained after leaving the home following a disagreement with staff members.

He received a consecutive sentence for the offences.

Judge William Hart handed Smith a 57-week sentence at Bristol Crown Court on December 19, which he has already served because he was refused bail while awaiting a sentencing date.

The court, alongside the probation team, could not secure Smith with temporary accommodation in Weston for the evening.

Judge Hart said: "You have served your time and therefore will be released later today.

"Unfortunately, finding appropriate temporary accommodation for you tonight is not going to happen and we can't keep you locked up in prison having served the appropriate period of custody.

"This means you will have to rely on your own ingenuity before a solution is found.

"If you fail to comply and commit further offences you will be liable to serve further time in custody."

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