Spared jail after starting fire in flat

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A man who put neighbours in danger by starting a fire at his Denny flat has been spared jail after a sheriff accepted his actions weren’t deliberate.

Brian Stokes (51), 34 Grove Street, admitted culpable and reckless conduct on November 13 last year. Falkirk Sheriff Court heard smoke engulfed his flat after he set papers alight in a drawer. Luckily, the blaze didn’t spread.

Sheriff Craig Caldwell put Stokes under supervision for 18 months, telling him: “This was no doubt an extremely frightening experience for people living in the flats about you.

“However, I note your explanation. It wasn’t perhaps the most sensible thing to do, but it appears no great malice was intended.”