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Arsonist Philip Smith jailed
AN arsonist who set fire to a house in a Selby village while another man was still inside has been jailed for three-and-a-half years.
Philip Andrew Smith, of Carentan Close, Selby, was jailed by a judge at York Crown Court after being found guilty of arson at a house in Rose Crescent, Sherburn-in-Elmet.
The 38-year-old had previously pleaded not guilty to arson, but was convicted by a jury after a four-day trial in May this year.
The court heard yesterday how Smith had set fire to the house while another man was still inside in May 2010.
The man was forced to throw a television at a window to break the glass in a bid to flee the flames. He escaped relatively unscathed, the court heard.
Sentencing Smith, Judge Roger Ibbotson said he had considered the fact Smith had lost his job of almost 20 years in engineering and separated from his first wife before he committed the offence as well as the fact he was seeing his GP for depression.
But he said: “I have taken into account your personal circumstances – the fact that you have recently remarried and are responsible for a family. Nevertheless this is a serious offence, you started a fire and in the event it was fortunate that the man managed to escape relatively uninjured.”
Smith was jailed for three-and-a- half years which will include the time he has already spent in custody.