An arsonist who started a late-night revenge blaze at a couple’s flat has been jailed for eight years.
Kyle McMurrough’s two co-defendants were also jailed after the trio threatened a local shopkeeper following his bailing by police over the fire.
McMurrough, 23, had thrown a garden ornament through the window of the mid-terrace Accrington flat, poured some accelerant through it and set it alight with matches.
Luckily, the fire was soon put out and had not taken hold.
The court heard that McMurrough had been attacked by one of the flat’s residents earlier in the day.
The property was empty at the time, but the next door neighbour was in and spotted flames. The flat above may also have been occupied, Burnley Crown Court heard.
McMurrough, who made a quick getaway, later went to the police station and owned up.
He was bailed and then went out with his accomplices, David Cammack, 27, and Kane Bibby, 19, terrifying the owners of a store on Nuttall Street, Accrington, in broad daylight.
The trio had had a cocktail of drink and mephedrone, and were ‘doubly intoxicated’.
The victims were threatened with a milk bottle in the planned raid.
All three, who took goods of low value, admitted robbery.
McMurrough, of Richmond Road, Accrington, also pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered, following the incident on July 10.
Cammack, of St James Road, Church, was sent to prison for four years.
Bibby, of Sarah Street, Darwen, who also admitted a house burglary and theft of £85 at Dunnyshop Avenue, Accrington, and was in breach of a suspended jail term, received a custodial term of 44 months and 20 weeks. He had 42 previous convictions.
Sentencing, Judge Graham Knowles QC, said the shopkeepers provided a valuable service to the community, had been vulnerable and were frightened.
After the attack on their store, they were scared every time a group of young men went in.
Of the arson, the judge said to McMurrough: "The risk you ran was risk to a large number of people at a time when a large number of people were likely to be in their beds."
David Macro, prosecuting, said Teri Addison and her partner Daniel Dwyer lived at the ground floor flat at St James Street.
At 11.20pm the fire brigade got a call saying their flat was on fire and people could be inside.
The blaze was easily put out. Mr Macro said Ms Addison told police her boyfriend had earlier been in a row with McMurrough.
Mr Macro said a neighbour told officers he had heard a smash, put it down to drunks outside, but then saw the flames of the flat fire next door reflected in a car parked outside.
McMurrough later turned up at Accrington police station of his own volition and admitted what he had done. When he was formally interviewed, he made no comment. He was bailed.
The hearing was told the three defendants had gone into the grocery and off-licence shop to get some more drink. One of the trio got a milk bottle from near the door and threatened the owners, who also live on the premises.
After their ordeal, one of the victims suffered sleepless nights with flashbacks. McMurrough, Bibby and Cammack were arrested soon after.