Drunk dad torched his Chorley flat to upset his daughter

Drunk: Martin Brown
Drunk: Martin Brown
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A drunk dad had to be rescued from his burning flat after he set fire to it so that his daughter would hear he had died.

Former bomb hoaxer Martin Brown, 46, was branded an attention seeker by Mr Justice Holroyd as he handed down four-year jail sentence at Preston Crown Court.

The court heard Brown, of Wordsworth Terrace, Chorley, had become known as a nuisance to his neighbours, so when he emerged from his flat waving a kitchen knife and asking to borrow a lighter they thought it was more attention seeking.

But when thick smoke and flames started to billow out of the upstairs window they realised he had been serious in his threats to burn his property down so his daughter would hear that he had perished in the blaze.

Justice Holroyd, sentencing, said: “Your behaviour showed a complete disregard for the safety and welfare of others, starting with your waving around of the kitchen knife in the presence of children and culminating in this serious offence of reckless arson.”

The estimated repair costs to the two flats is £13,600.

Justice Holroyd said: “In short, at least one life was put at risk, a good deal of damage to the property was caused, the existing problems of your neighbour downstairs increased.

“All this was a result of your drunken self indulgent attention seeking.”

Brown told his barrister, Adrian Williams: “This sentence is my opportunity to prepare and prove that I can be a useful member of society and prove to my family that I am that and not a useless no-hoper.”

He pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article in a public place and arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Judge Holroyd handed down a sentence with a four year custodial term of which Brown will serve two thirds before being eligible to apply for parole. If the parole board is satisfied he no longer poses a risk he will be on licence for a further seven years following his release.