Frampton Cotterell firestarter caused £700,000 of damage in blaze at Newport bus station
Frampton Cotterell arsonist James Proctor caused £700,000 worth of damge in the blaze at Newport bus station
A TEENAGER who fantasised about fire started a blaze at a bus depot which destroyed three buses and caused £700,000 worth of damage.
James Proctor, of Frampton Cotterell, who started the fires in the early hours of his 15th birthday, was sent to a young offender institution for four years for what a judge described as a fire started for "the thrill".
Prosecutor John Probert told Cardiff Crown Court that Proctor started two fires at the bus depot in Newport between 1am and 3am on the morning of December 3.
A Peugeot taxi worth £8,000 was set on fire in Eton Road before the youth made his way to the bus depot on Corporation Road at around 3am. Using residual diesel fuel left in the pipes of the locked fuelling pumps and newspaper, Proctor destroyed three buses and a lorry worth a total of £500,000.
There was damage to a building at the depot and estimates put the total damage at around £700,000. A nearby block of flats also had to be evacuated as the flames "were licking above the depot," said Mr Probert. The block of 12 flats was not damaged except for a cracked window.
Proctor, 15, of Kelbra Crescent, was seen running across the George Street Bridge at 3.05am by a police officer and was arrested.
A cigarette lighter was found in his waistband but he denied starting the fire, instead blaming someone else and gave officers the name of a boy he previously went to school with in Bristol.
Mr Probert said inquiries were made and revealed this boy was "tucked up in bed in Bristol" at the time.
CCTV footage showed Proctor at the depot but he maintained he was with another person who encouraged him to start the fire.
Proctor pleaded guilty to one count of arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered, and one count of arson.
For Proctor, Stephen Thomas said the teenager suffers with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and has been taking medication since he was five. He described him as a "significantly troubled man" who had begun drinking alcohol and smoking cannabis. Mr Thomas said Proctor thinks about what he did every day and said the boy is not going to drink any more.
Judge Neil Bidder QC said: "You have admitted you have fantasies about fire and have lit fires in the past. You committed this offence for the thrill of it."
Proctor was given four years' detention for the charge of arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered, and a concurrent two-year sentence for the taxi arson.