Pensioner lit nine fires in house

PENSIONER Norman Campbell tried to destroy his Donington home by lighting at least nine fires when he feared eviction after his partner’s death.

Campbell (77) admitted committing arson on December 5 – damaging by fire Ing Cottage, owned by Dusty Walden, to the tune of £30,000.

Rebecca Ritson, prosecuting, said Campbell had lived in the house with his partner Peggy Reeves since 1985.

When Mrs Reeves died last year, the house passed to her daughter.

Miss Ritson said Campbell was under the impression he would be evicted and told police he deliberately set the house on fire in at least nine different locations to destroy it.

Solicitor Mike Alexander said he suspected Campbell may have had some form of “break in his mental health as a result of his partner’s death”.

He said Campbell was a man of good character and he made full admissions to police,

Spalding magistrates on Thursday sent Campbell to Lincoln Crown Court.

Presiding magistrate Jeanette Marshall said: “The offence is so serious that you need greater punishment than we can give.”

Campbell, now of Bromyard, Herefordshire, had his unconditional bail extended.