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Jilted husband started fire at Accrington town centre salon in revenge bid

Shafqaat Hussain, 26, set blaze which 'could have been fatal'

A man torched his estranged wife’s beauty salon to exact revenge on her for ending their marriage, a court heard.

Shafqaat Hussain, 26, felt humiliated when Sophia Shan left him, and set fire to the salon on Blackburn Road in Accrington.

The fire spread along the terraced row – leading to the tenant two floors up, Edward Flanagan, 73, having to be rescued by firefighters.

The hearing was told that had another neighbour, Alan Walker, 47, not called 999 after hearing an explosion, the fire could have been fatal for Mr Flanagan.

This came after a confrontation between Hussain and Ms Shan, on April 28 of this year.

During this incident Hussain forced Ms Shan out of her car and drove it at her, before colliding with another car she had sought refuge in. Hussain, Stockport, pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether the life of another man would be endangered.

The case was then passed up to Burnley Crown Court from magistrates for sentencing and he was sentenced to five years and four months in prison.

He also pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and driving while disqualified.

Hussain was disqualified from driving for three years and eight months.

The court heard Hussain started the fire in the early hours of July 10.

Prosecuting, Stephen Parker, said: “He thought that the best way to get his own back was to set fire to her business and cause her financial loss. This was reckless.

“Mr Flanagan suffered reddening to the eyes and singed eyebrows.

“He suffered a large amount of smoke inhalation and had to be given antibiotics for his eyes.”

The court heard however, that there were no signs that Hussain would carry out another such attack in the future.

It was also accepted it was not Hussain’s intention to physically harm anyone, but to damage Ms Shan’s business.

Defending, Douglas Mark Stewart, said: “There is no indication of him being a fire bug.

“This was a cruel means to get back at her by setting fire to her premises.

“The top and bottom of this is that they had fallen out and fallen out badly, he felt humiliated.”

Presiding over the case, Judge Beverley Lunt said that Hussain had disregarded the safety of the tenants in the neighbouring flats.

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