A MAN has been jailed for seven years following an arson attack at the home of his sister and on police cars in Harwich.

Steven Moran, 63, of All Saints Close, Dovercourt, was found guilty following a trial at St Albans Crown Court of arson with intent to endanger life.

Moran launched an attack on the home of his sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Frank Hawkins, in Heath Road, Potters Bar, on April 14 last year.

Moran admitted to carrying out a “revenge” arson attack on two police vehicles at Harwich Police Station, while on bail for the first incident.

Sentencing Moran at the court yesterday, Judge Richard Foster said: “You clearly had a grudge, a dispute with your sister because of family matters, arising out of family finances.

“I accept you cared for your mother for many years, but this led you to carry out a premeditated, pre-planned arson attack on the home of your sister and brother-in-law.

“You planned it, brought accelerant and drove from your home in Essex to their home in Potters Bar and then set fire to their motor car on the front drive and on their front door.

“I have read the victim personal statements of Mr and Mrs Hawkins and it seems to me the harm must be categorised as significant.

Clacton and Frinton Gazette:

The road cordoned off for the public’s safety during the incident in April last year

“When you were released by police on bail, you then turned your attention to the police themselves - a grudge against them.

“Again you pre-planned an arson attack, and set fire to two police cars, an Astra and, more seriously, an armed response vehicle containing ammunition.

“Not only was that car taken out of action causing considerable operational difficulties for the police, but the area had to be evacuated because of the ammunition in the car.

“It was a revenge attack against the police.”

Judge Foster said he accepted Moran had mental health issues and was of previous good character, but added: “You are in my view dangerous, as defined by the sentencing code.

“I’m told if you take your medication this behaviour will not be repeated, but I cannot be satisfied of that.”

“I accept you have mental health issues. You have made good use of your long time on remand and I must take into account your previous good character.

Moran was handed a concurrent seven-year jail term for the offences along with a further three years to be served on licence.

A restraining order was also put in place prohibiting him from contacting Mr and Mrs Hawkins.