Teen torched home

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A YOUTH who set fire to the Wigan home of his disabled mum while she slept was caged for 20 months.

The judge told Ryan Evans: “You did a terrible thing. You knew what you were doing and you knew it was dangerous. Your mother could have died. You are lucky not to be facing a more serious charge.”

Recorder of Liverpool, Judge Clement Goldstone, QC said that he accepted that 19-year-old Evans has learning difficulties but warned him: “If you ever do anything like this again you will face a sentence which in all probability may never come to an end.”

Evans had pleaded guilty to arson being reckless whether life was endangered.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that on September 8 last year, Evans was living with his mother at her home in Scot Lane, in Newtown.

His mum, Veronica Evans, is paralysed from the waist down after suffering meningitis and is also completely deaf.

He spent the day drinking cider and playing on his computer and was still doing so after his aunt left after putting his mum to bed as usual.

At 3.40 am a policeman was in the area looking for someone and when Evans ran past he stopped him thinking he might be the man he wanted.

Evans appeared flustered and said there was a fire at his home but when asked if he had rung the emergency services he said he had not and was going to his aunt’s home to tell her.

Karen Books, prosecuting, said: “He said someone had put a burning T-shirt through the front door and his mother was still in the house. The officer ran to the hose and went in and saw the hall carpet was on fire and saw the remnants of a T-shirt,

“The downstairs was full of smoke and the officer stamped out the fire and found Mrs Evans on a couch in the kitchen asleep. He woke her up, called the fire and ambulance service and opened the windows.”

When the ambulance arrived Mrs Evans was tended but she did not need hospital treatment, she said.

A small burn mark was found on a couch and the fire brigade found the fire had been started inside the house. Evans denied being responsible but was arrested.

When interviewed Evans admitted setting light to a T-shirt and when the flames spread he threw it onto the carpet and panicked and ran out to tell his aunt.

Mark Ferguson, defending, told the judge, who had read psychiatric, psychological and probation reports, that Evans has learning difficulties but has no previous convictions.