Harlow woman faces jail after torching her own Quarry Spring flat
Communities / Thu 19th Jun 2014 pm30 04:22pm
A HARLOW woman faces jail after she set alight her council flat a fortnight after moving in because she ‘did not like the neighbours’.
Leesa Wenman, 32, has been found guilty of arson after she started two fires in the bedroom of her home in Harlow causing £13,000 of damage.
Harlow Council moved her to the flat in late July last year but within two weeks she was having rows with neighbours.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard how the 32-year-old was arrested on August 6 after her flat was torched.
The court heard how neighbours called 999 when they spotted plumes of smoke coming out of Wenman’s flat window.
It took firefighters 30 minutes to control the blaze, which caused £13,000-worth of damage.
Carolyn Gardiner, prosecuting, told the court that Wenman was ‘not happy’ with her new home.
The court heard she started the fire shortly after she asked to borrow a cigarette lighter from a neighbour and then climbed out of a window and went to a friend’s house.
She told the court: ‘Neighbours smelled smoke, it smelled like plastic was burning. They realised Wenman’s flat was on fire.
‘This defendant had motive – she had fallen out with her neighbours.’
The fire service then had to break in to the flat and put out the blaze.
The jury heard how two fires were started in the bedroom, with investigators finding burn marks on the floorboards and skirting board.
Wenman was found guilty of reckless last Friday and faces sentencing on August 11.