TWO ‘reckless yobs’ who pushed lit firelighters through the letterboxes of four homes have been jailed.
Simon Cockerill, 26, and Ethan Hesketh, 21, went on the arson spree in Mill Hill, Blackburn, as people were asleep.
Police said the pair, who committed the crimes while ‘fuelled with alcohol’, put lives at risk by their irresponsible behaviour.
They were each jailed for 18 months yesterday after pleading guilty to theft, committing arson recklessly and arson.
Four front doors in Hollin Bridge Street were torched in the early hours of June 23.
Cockerill, of Whalley Road, Clayton-le-Moors and Hesketh, of Hozier Street, Blackburn, were arrested after being captured on CCTV at Lock Mill Service Station, in Bolton Road, Blackburn, before they stole the firelighters used in the attacks.
Police said the arson attacks had been ‘potentially extremely serious’ and it was lucky that no-one had been hurt.
DC Mick Ingram from Blackburn CID said: “Both Cockerill and Hesketh didn’t think about the potential consequences of their actions. They put people’s lives in danger and it was fortunate that no one was seriously injured.
“It was a reckless and irresponsible act which was fuelled by alcohol and I hope this sentence sends out a warning that this type of behaviour will not be tolerated.
“The fires could easily have developed into serious incidents and left people trapped in their homes.”
In Hollin Bridge Street residents hit out at the pair.
Jackie Mullin, 40, said: “They deserve what they got. I think they are sick, or maybe they are just idiots.”
Steven Holland, 40, said: “It is not a very nice thing. They put lives at risk.”
Samantha Brown, 37, said: “It could have caused serious harm. We’ve got to make an example of them.”
Police said that the unique nature of the incident was now used in internal training sessions by the fire service and police in Lancashire to highlight good working practices.
This story is from Feb 2012 and relates to Ethan Hesketh who was also convicted of this