March 20, 2023 11.42 am This story is over 8 months old

Lincoln A&E arsonist refuses to leave prison cell for sentencing

The fire caused £180,000 of damage at the hospital

The sentence of a man who started a fire at Lincoln County Hospital was today (Monday) adjourned after he refused to attend court from his prison cell.

John Gillion Watson, 57, of Vicarage Court, Sleaford, was due to be sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to causing a fire that led to the closure of Lincoln County Hospital’s A&E department

At a hearing last month Watson pleaded guilty to a charge of arson being reckless to as to whether life was endangered on 29 March last year.

Sentence was adjourned for the preparation of psychiatric and probation reports on Watson who is currently remanded into custody at Lincoln prison.

Patients and staff were evacuated from the building. | Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Michael Cranmer-Brown, defending Watson, said the importance of co-operating with those reports had been impressed on his client but he had failed to do so.

Mr Cranmer-Brown admitted Watson was aware of his sentence date but said he had refused to leave his cell because of perceived threats.

Watson also failed to attend a video-link hearing which was set up from Lincoln Prison.

| Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Judge James House KC adjourned sentence until 3 April so a prison psychiatrist can visit Watson in his cell and provide further information.

Previously the court heard damage of £180,000 was caused to Lincoln County Hospital by the fire.

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.

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