Man who set a Wigan house ablaze is jailed

Daniel Harter
Daniel Harter

A man who set a Wigan house ablaze in a frenzied argument has been jailed.


Daniel Harter, 36, of no fixed address, has today, Monday 10 September 2018, been sentenced at Bolton Crown Court to three years and eight months in prison.

He previously pleaded guilty to reckless arson where life would be endangered.

On the evening of Sunday 10 July 2018, Harter was at an address in Beech Hill, Wigan where he was arguing with a woman over an historic incident.

As the row escalated, it spilt over into the kitchen where Harter began launching food around the room including chilli sauce, ketchup and eggs.

While the woman was reeling from what she had just witnessed, he went upstairs and retrieved a petrol can from the attic.

Harter managed to unscrew the top off the can and started pouring petrol in separate rooms, all the while threatening to burn the house down if the woman left.

By this point he had completely snapped and, after unsuccessfully attempting to light the fuel with a lighter he had retrieved from another room, Harter grabbed a second lighter, this time successfully igniting the petrol.

As the realisation of his actions seemingly dawned on him, Harter ran to the kitchen to get a pan of water to attempt to put out the fire but, due to the scale of the flames at this point, it was a pointless exercise.

He then proceeded to flee the scene, leaving the inferno he had started behind to cause extensive damage to the house. An initial assessment of the repair costs to fix the property was estimated to be around £50,000.

Detective Constable Alastair MacMillan, of GMP’s Wigan borough, said: “Daniel Harter is clearly a dangerous man who put the lives of not just himself and this woman at risk by setting this fire but also the lives of other people living on the same street.

“Whilst he may not have given much thought about the damage he would cause due to being blinded by rage, his reckless actions that night left a family without a home.

“Threatening to set a house on fire is no joke and quite frankly it is unbelievable that anybody would intentionally douse a house in petrol to prevent a person from leaving during an argument.

“The only thing that will achieve is a prison sentence, which is exactly what Harter got – putting him where he deserves to be.”