Woman guilty of trying to set fire to neighbour's flat

First published in News

A WOMAN has been convicted of trying to set fire to her neighbour's flat.

Julie Selway, 36, of Rochford House, Spendells Close, Walton, set fire to notepad paper and pushed it through the letterbox of a flat belonging to Barry Collison on September 13 last year.

A jury at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday found her not guilty of a charge of attempted arson with intent to endanger life.

But she was found guilty of an alternative charge of attempted arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.

His Honour Judge John Holt ordered a psychiatric test to be carried out before sentencing takes place.

The court had heard that Mr Collison, a lorry driver who lives in a flat on the floor below Selway's, returned home to find smoke in the hallway and smouldering paper in his letterbox.

In a recording of a call to the police, Mr Collison said he was "lucky" that he returned when he did, but that he was left "worried" by the incident.

He told the call operator he suspected the “drunk” upstairs, who he said had been “pestering” him.

Police arrested Selway later that day and found a notepad in her flat which matched the paper used in the arson attack.

In a police interview, Selway said she had regretted having a sexual relationship with Mr Collison and that he had asked to use some paper from the notepad to write a letter.

Mr Collison denied having any sexual relationship or asking to use notepad paper. He said he only offered to help her after her car was vandalised and phone and wallet stolen.

Selway was remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on the week starting April 1.

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