January 20, 2023 4.45 pm This story is over 15 months old

Firestarter: Man admits Lincoln A&E arson

£180,000 of damage was caused

A man admitted starting a fire that led to the closure of Lincoln County Hospital’s A&E department.

John Gillion Watson, 56, of Vicarage Court, Sleaford, pleaded guilty to a charge of arson being reckless to as to whether life was endangered on 29 March last year.

Watson had previously pleaded not guilty to a more serious charge of arson with intent to endanger life on the same date.

The unit was evacuated with no injuries to patients or staff but ambulances were diverted to other hospitals in Lincolnshire, as well as further afield.

Damage of £180,000 was caused to Lincoln County Hospital.

Luke Chisnell, prosecuting, said Watson’s plea was acceptable and the Crown Prosecution Service would not seek a trial on the charge of intending to endanger life.

Michael Cranmer-Brown, defending Watson, said the defence were seeking to obtain a psychiatric report on Mr Watson.

Judge Catarina Sjolin Knight adjourned sentence until 20 March and remanded Watson back into custody.

The Judge indicated: “I am concerned about dangerousness for obvious reasons.”

She told Watson: “You have pleaded guilty to what is a very serious offence. Who ever sentences you needs to know a lot more about you.”


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