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Arsonist jailed after setting fire to family’s front door

An arsonist who set fire to the front door of a house with a young family inside has been jailed.

Joseph Slack, aged 41, poured petrol on the door of a home in Central Avenue, Beeston, during the early hours of 27 February 2023.

A man, a woman and three children were inside the property at the time.

Slack, of Abbey Court, Beeston, previously pleaded guilty to arson with recklessness to endanger life and was jailed for three years and nine months when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court for sentencing on Friday 9 June.

Police received several calls at around 2 am on 27 February to report a disturbance in Central Avenue.

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When officers arrived at the scene they were told a man who lived nearby had poured petrol on the door of a property and set it alight.

The man who lived at the house said he had seen someone dressed all in black behaving suspiciously on his doorstep.

Moments later a smoke alarm had been activated and the victims used water from their kitchen to put the fire out.

When officers attended Slack’s flat a short time later they noticed a strong smell of petrol and Slack appeared nervous when asked about it.

They found traces of an accelerant inside a bottle of cider in Slack’s fridge and arrested him.

Nottinghamshire Police and Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service carried out a full investigation into the incident and Slack eventually admitted to setting fire to the door when he was charged with the offence by officers.

Detective Constable Tony Tonks, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Arson is always an extremely serious and reckless offence but to set fire to the door of a family home shows a blatant disregard for the life.

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“If some of the occupants inside the house had not been awake at the time this fire could have had catastrophic consequences. It is only through good fortune that no one was injured or worse.

“I am pleased the judge has seen fit to give Slack a lengthy prison sentence and I hope he uses this time to reflect on his reckless actions that night.”

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