A TRIO of men accused of a “revenge” arson attack on a flat at Llandudno Junction, when a woman had to climb on the roof of the building to escape the flames, have each been jailed today (August 12).
Caernarfon Crown Court heard the housing association flat in Avallon Avenue had been targeted in April after Jordan McMullen-McCourt, 25, of St Helens, Merseyside, claimed he was owed money for drugs by ex-prisoner and tenant Darren Fleming.
But there were three flats in the building which was left uninhabitable with a £168,000 repair bill.
Petrol had been used to torch the front door of the flat before the defendants were seen in a stolen car on the A494 at Deeside and headed on to the M56 in north west England, reaching 125mph to escape police, the prosecution said.
McMullen-McCourt, described by Judge Timothy Petts as the “prime-mover” in the revenge attack, was jailed for six-and-a-half years.
He admitted arson being reckless whether life was endangered and dangerous driving.
A driving ban of six years and three months was imposed with an extended test.
Judge Petts said the car went through a red light and it was “incredibly fortunate” there wasn’t a calamitous high-speed smash.
Jamie Chesterton, 29, of Haydock, Merseyside, and Callum Miller, 22, of St Helens, were both jailed for five years and three months after admitting the arson charge.
Prosecuting barrister Oliver King said fire crews used breathing apparatus to enter the building and evacuated neighbours.
Police discovered Chesterton had bought a plastic container and filled it with fuel at a Llandudno garage.
All three defendants went in the shop.
Michael Davies, defending McMullen-McCourt, said he had a previous issue with drugs but wanted to turn his back on offending.
Simon Rogers, counsel for Chesterton, said he had no previous record.
He was ashamed and remorseful for the offence. He’d had good employment and it was his first experience of prison.
John Wyn Williams, for Miller, said it wasn’t his quarrel and, with his first conviction, had gone in “at the deep end.”
Speaking after sentencing, Investigating Officer DC Natalie Horgan-Jones said: “This was an extremely dangerous crime which could have resulted in tragic circumstances.
“I welcome today’s sentences, and hope this serves as a reminder that we will pursue those who seek to bring harm to our communities.
“We remain committed to making North Wales the safest place in the UK.”