An arsonist set fire to his own home two days after discharging himself from a mental health treatment facility against doctors advice, a court heard.
Arshad Hussain, of Lower Antley Street, Accrington, deliberately torched a dressing gown and clothing in his living room and rolls of wallpaper in a loft space risking the lives of neighbours and family.
The 35-year-old had previously been staying at Pendle View for mental health treatment but had discharged himself.
Hussain had also robbed a cigarette vending machine worker a month earlier at the Beer Necessities shop on Whalley Road in Accrington making off with £400 in cash.
He pleaded guilty to arson and robbery and was jailed for four years.
Claire Larton, prosecuting, said the arson happened on February 21 last year and the fire brigade were called after his brother, who lived in the house next door with his mother, heard ‘banging’.
She told the court how he saw Hussain ‘acting strangely and pacing up and down and mumbling’ and then saw smoke billowing out of a smashed window.
Miss Larton said the ‘more serious’ fire was in the loft and that it was ‘highly likely’ the blaze would have spread to neighbouring properties had firefighters not reacted so quickly.
The court heard how Hussain had previously robbed vending machine worker Stephen Beddows at the town centre shop shortly after 2pm on January 13.
Miss Larton said Hussain placed a bottle of wine on the counter and, when Mr Beddows was kneeling by the machine and placing cash in a bag, he leaned over and tried to ‘snatch it’.
The court heard how when Mr Beddows resisted, Hussain told him ‘I’m going to stab you, there’s three lads waiting outside, I’ll do you’.
Miss Larton said the victim has since left his job as a result of the incident.
James Heyworth, defending, said he has used his time on remand well by completing a number of courses to help his future rehabilitation.
He said: “Short of turning back time and making different decisions there’s nothing more the defendant can do. He is unlikely to commit these sort of offences again.
“He has had well over a year to reflect on his behaviour and take positive steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”