July 24, 2020 4.07 pm This story is over 46 months old

Woman admits arson attack on cancer step-dad’s home

She messaged to tell him what she had done

A Lincoln woman who deliberately set fire to her neighbour’s garden shed caused a blaze which spread to both of their homes.

Kerry Campbell started the fire and then texted cancer-sufferer Stephen Wells just before 5am to tell him what she had done.

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that Mr Wells, who is Campbell’s step-father, looked out of his window and saw that his shed was ablaze.

The alarm was raised and firefighters were quickly at the scene, and the blaze was brought under control, but over £5,000 damage was caused to the two houses.

The garden shed was destroyed along with equipment including a lawn mower and there was extensive damage to decking in Mr Wells’ garden.

Mr Howes said: “The fire had melted the plastic pipes, fascias and window frames. Glass had cracked in the windows. One window was broken allowing smoke to get into the house.”

Campbell’s own home was also damaged along with another neighbour’s car which was parked nearby.

Mr Howes said that the incident in Coleridge Gardens, Lincoln, was sparked by the fact that Mr Wells had allowed Cambpbell’s estranged partner to help with his garden.

“This was a deliberate fire setting when she was in drink. She had threatened to burn the shed down.

“She knew Mr Wells was having treatment for cancer and had no voice box as it had been removed. He was most vulnerable.”

Mr Howes said that at the scene Campbell was overheard to say “I don’t care who knows it. I burned the shed down.”

She was later arrested but when she was interviewed by police said she didn’t do it.

Campbell, 37, of Coleridge Gardens, Lincoln, admitted two charges of arson as a result of the incident on the morning of March 30, 2019.

Mark Watson, in mitigation, said that Campbell and her partner are now back together and the relationship is now not as toxic as it had been at the time of the fire.

He said the incident happened 18 months ago and Campbell had not committed any further offences.

Campbell was given a six month jail sentence suspended for 18 months. She was also ordered to complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and given a three month night time curfew which will be electronically monitored.