Drunk Kidsgrove arsonist set fire to her own flat
DRUNKEN Angela Dodd was rescued by firefighters after she set fire to her flat and caused damage estimated at £50,000.
The 52-year-old was yesterday jailed for two years after admitting arson recklessly endangering life at the property in High Street, Rookery, Kidsgrove, in the early hours of May 19.
Prosecutor David Bennett yesterday told Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court that Dodd made five calls to police, the first at 1.15am, threatening to go to her ex partner's home and smash his windows.
Fifteen minutes later she called and asked for help so she would not kill her ex-partner.
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Police forced entry to the flat at 1.45am and the defendant was treated by paramedics after suffering a panic attack. But Dodd then became hostile and demanded the officers leave.
However, at 2.26am she called again and said she was going to break her ex-partner's legs.
She made two further calls to police saying the officers had locked her in her flat and she could not get out.
At 3.29am Dodd called the fire service and said she was going to set fire to her flat.
She called again at 3.44am saying her flat was on fire and she could not get out.
Mr Bennett said: "Police attended at 4am and the street was filled with thick black smoke. There were flames coming from the window.
"Officers went to the rear of the building and kicked open the door.
"It was difficult to breathe. The inside of the flat was well ablaze. It was impossible to enter.
"Police then saw the defendant at one of the windows shouting, 'help, help, I have set the flat on fire'. She was coughing violently.
"Firefighters attended and the defendant was able to climb down a ladder with their assistance."
The court heard occupants had to evacuate neighbouring flats.
Dodd's flat was destroyed while the other flats were damaged by smoke and water as were shops below.
Mr Bennett added: "It will cost in excess of £50,000 to restore the defendant's flat alone."
Jason Holt, mitigating, said alcohol had exacerbated the situation.
He added: "She wholeheartedly accepts she is the cause of the fire."
Judge Paul Glenn told Dodd: "The common thread in relation to all your offending is alcohol.
"Your actions could easily have had catastrophic effects. It must have been a terrifying experience for your neighbours. Your actions were incredibly reckless."