Sunday 21 July 2024
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Man set fire to house with woman and her daughters inside – and left

An arsonist knowingly set fire to a woman’s house while she was still inside it with her two daughters.

Danny Fretwell made the callous decision to deliberately start the blaze at his victim’s house following an argument.

After the 24-year-old showed up at her home drunk, the woman took her daughters, aged nine and 14, out of harm’s way and left Fretwell downstairs on his own.

This riled Fretwell, who silently moved around the house collecting clothes, which he chucked into a plastic bag and placed next to the backdoor, before setting it alight.

He then stayed inside the house for ten minutes and watched the clothes burn, while the woman and her daughters remained upstairs – completely unaware that anything was happening.

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Fretwell then left the house without saying a word, as the fire continued to burn.

After smelling smoke, the woman came downstairs a few minutes later to find the patio doors at the back of her house engulfed in flames.

The family then managed to escape from the house and called the emergency services.

Nobody was injured following the fire in Mansfield on 13 October 2021, with the blaze causing around £20,000 in damage.

Fretwell, of Griffin Road, Sutton in Ashfield, pleaded guilty to a charge of arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered at Nottingham Crown Court on 16 February 2022.

Appearing before the same court on Tuesday (19 July), he was sentenced to three years in prison.

Detective Constable Christophe Sutton, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Fretwell’s callous actions that night were absolutely despicable.

“It is sickening to think that he would not only set the fire but also deliberately put his victim and her two children at even further risk by fleeing the house without saying a word.

“Thankfully, nobody was injured, although the blaze did cause considerable damage to the house, while I have no doubt that it will have also left a mark on the family from an emotional standpoint too.

“Arson is a very serious and inexcusable offence that is both incredibly dangerous and can lead to devastating consequences for anyone who is unlucky enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“It really should go without saying but this kind of behaviour has absolutely no place in our society, so I am pleased to see that Fretwell has now been made accountable for his actions.”

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