Wolstanton arsonist Kim Edmonds jailed for 'accidental' fires
FIREFIGHTERS have condemned a 21-year-old woman who repeatedly set her house on fire – and then claimed the blazes had actually started by accident.
Crews were called to Kim Edmonds's Wolstanton home four times earlier this year, after she reported that electrical faults, candles and even an intruder had started the blazes.
Now Edmonds – who is already serving a prison sentence for animal cruelty after slashing her pet dog 31 times and then blaming an intruder for its injuries – has been jailed for three years for arson at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Following the sentence, firefighter Dave Steele, from Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "A considerable amount of our resources were tied up on four occasions this year dealing with fires at this property.
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"Hours were spent extinguishing fires, rescuing pets and then investigating the fires, which it now transpires were actually started deliberately by the occupant and not as a result of electrical faults or candles left unattended, as claimed by the occupant at the time.
"Thankfully, no-one was harmed during any of the incidents. However, there was the potential for the occupants of the affected house and neighbours to have been trapped had the fires spread before we were alerted."
Edmonds was finally arrested after setting two fires at her Lily Street home on March 15.
At the time, she was with her brother-in-law Alan Edmonds, who was staying with her because her husband, Brian, did not want to leave her alone while he was working nights.
They had been to the pub for a drink and when they returned, Edmonds was on her own in the house while her brother-in-law checked on his car.
Shortly afterwards, when they were in the living room, she pretended to hear a noise outside and asked Mr Edmonds to investigate.
He went into the kitchen to find a small fire by the back door. He tried to extinguish it but there was already a lot of smoke. When he went into the bathroom to open a window, he found a second fire started there.
The house was already damaged from previous fires at the property which, at the time, firefighters believed had been caused accidentally.
Edmonds was arrested and pleaded guilty to arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
Jailing Edmonds, Judge Robert Trevor-Jones described the defendant as a danger.
He said: "On the night in question, you furtively set two fires in your home while your brother-in-law was present.
"If the fires had spread and taken hold, not only would the lives of yourself and your brother-in-law, but potentially those in the neighbouring properties, would have been at risk.
"I'm mindful there have been other fires set in the property and I have little doubt that you were directly linked to those. You have been diagnosed with a personality disorder and the risk of you re-offending is very high."