Worthing arsonist jailed after causing £11,000 damage to flat in 'revenge attack'

A Worthing man who caused £11,000 worth of damage to a flat in a 'revenge attack' has been jailed, according to Sussex Police.

James Stewart, 27. Picture: Sussex Police
James Stewart, 27. Picture: Sussex Police

James Stewart, 27, from King Edward Avenue, Worthing, appeared at Hove Crown Court yesterday (February 5) for sentencing following an earlier nine day trial.

According to a police spokesman, officers were alerted by the West Sussex Fire Service to an arson at a property in Victoria Court, Worthing, on February 22, 2018.

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No one was in the flat at the time of the fire, but it was estimated around £11,000 worth of damage was caused, police said.

James Stewart, 27. Picture: Sussex Police

Following information from the public, Stewart was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent or reckless as to whether life was endangered.

According to the spokesman, the investigation by Sussex Police officers uncovered messages on Stewart’s phone bragging about the fire.

Judge Christine Henson sentenced Stewart to 10 years in prison, to serve a minimum of eight.

She described how the matter was a 'revenge attack' which affected multiple people and had a significant impact on the community, according to police.

PC Cheryl Kidd said: “We would like to praise the bravery of the witnesses who came forward and aided our investigation, allowing us to quickly progress the matter.

“Stewart set alight the flat with no thought to the injuries and damages he could have caused.

“We welcome the sentence Stewart has been given and hope it sends a clear message to the public that we will continue to prioritise the crimes that cause the greatest harm to victims and communities.”