Man who admitted starting blaze in guest house is jailed

A MAN who started a fire at a guest house in Stafford has been sentenced to four years four months in prison after admitting arson.

Peter Groucutt, 42, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to arson with intent to endanger life and arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered.

Stafford Crown Court heard that officers were made aware of a fire in Fairfield Guest House in Lichfield Road at 2.20am on February 6.

Firefighters attended the incident and extinguished the blaze.

Detectives established that Groucutt had been asked to leave the guest house previously. He returned, forced entry and set a fire in an unoccupied bedroom.

The fire spread through the ground floor and caused significant damage to the building. Groucutt was seen entering and leaving the hotel wearing gloves and had changed his clothes before he left.

Detective Constable Aaron Evans, of Staffordshire Police, said: “This was a calculated and planned attack which put the other guests in real danger. Thankfully due to the swift actions of the residents and management after hearing the fire alarms nobody was harmed.

“Groucutt presented a real risk not only to the guests but the wider community of Stafford.”


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