Lives could have been lost after curtains set alight

A woman refused to let police save her when the fire she set started to take hold in her home.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 12th October 2017, 12:56 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 1:02 pm
Sheriff Caldwell
Sheriff Caldwell

Laura Thomson (37) had taken too much of her medication on the night in question and was angry when officers showed up at her premises.

Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday she had pled guilty to wilful fire raising in Oxgang Road, Grangemouth on June 21.

Procurator fiscal depute Ruaraidh Ferguson said: “It was 8.15pm when the police received a call from ambulance control about a female who had taken an overdose. Police attended the accused’s property and she was shouting from a window wanting to know who called the police.

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“She said if you come near me I’m going to stab myself. The curtains inside the property had been set on fire and police tried to kick the door in to gain access. There now appeared to be a large fire in the property with a lot of smoke.

“The accused opened the window but refused to come out, saying she wanted to stay inside.”

Police pulled the accused out through the window and she was put into handcuffs for her own safety.

Two other properties with people in them were evacuated as fire crews battled the blaze.

When Thomson was arrested by police she told them she could not believe what she did.

According to Paragon Housing the fire damage amounted to £12,104.

Simon Hutchison, defence solicitor, said Thomson had been having psychiatric difficulties at the time and she had taken an excessive dose of her Amitriptyline medication.

Sheriff Craig Caldwell said: “I appreciate you were under stress, but the fact is the action you took had the capacity to cause very serious damage – not only to the property but risk the lives of other people who live nearby you.”

Thomson, 37 Stevenson Street, Grangemouth, was placed on an 18-month supervised community payback order with the condition she engage with psychiatric treatment.