Convicted killer James Quantrill from Spalding is jailed after admitting arson with intent
A convicted killer from Spalding who torched his girlfriend's flat after she broke up with him has been jailed for four years.
James Quantrill (28), of Willesby Road, Spalding, locked himself in the bathroom of the flat in the town after telling his partner, "We're going to die together".
Quantrill, who was jailed for five years in January 2008 for manslaughter when, as a 16-year-old. he and another teenager kicked and burned a helpless 27- year-old man before throwing him into the River Welland in Spalding, reacted violently after his girlfriend told him their relationship was over.
During a hearing at Lincoln Crown Court today (Monday), Quantrill admitted a charge of arson whilst being reckless as to whether life was endangered as a result of the incident on September 2 this year.
Phil Howes, prosecuting, described how Quantrill's partner was on the phone to the emergency services to report what he was doing when she smelled smoke and realised he had started a fire.
Mr Howes said: "She became hysterical when she realised he had started the fire.
"She was in a flat that was locked and had a key in her bag but in the panic of what was going on she couldn't find it."
Police officers forced their way into the flat and Quantrill's partner immediately ran out of the front door.
The bathroom door was then forced open and Quantrill was found unconscious on the floor of the smoke-filled room.
He was dragged to safety before police then evacuated the entire block of flats.
The blaze burned itself out, having caused fire damage to the bathroom and smoke damage to the rest of the flat.
Mr Howes also revealed that police officers who had gone into the flats were badly affected by the smoke from the fire which occurred after Quantrill's girlfriend had ended their ten-month relationship.
"She indicated to the defendant that she wanted to terminate their relationship," Mr Howes said.
"It was perhaps not a happy relationship as both parties, in the past, had resorted to ringing the police to complain about their partner."
Passing sentence, Judge Andrew Easteal, told Quantrill: "This was a fire that you started deliberately and it was made all the more difficult to combat because you locked the door.
"The only sentence I can pass is a significant prison sentence."
However, Mark Watson, in mitigation, said that Quantrill has mental health and drug problems.
"This was a spontaneous act and there was no planning," Mr Watson added.
"This was a man who was very much in crisis and he was trying to take his own life.
"He was addicted to class A drugs, he had taken them and then learned of the impending loss of his partner on whom he relied.
"Things came to a head and he didn't have the tools to cope."
Mr Watson added that since being remanded into custody, Quantrill has been put on medication and there has been a marked improvement in his mental health."