Alcoholic jailed for setting light to his own bedroom
AN ALCOHOLIC "Jekyll and Hyde" who carried out a threat to torch his council flat has been jailed for four years.
Steven Jefferies made the threat so many times it became a fact of life at Rodney Crescent in Filton, Bristol Crown Court heard.
He was drunk when he set two fires in his bedroom, causing £57,480 damage and a mass evacuation which included 99-year-old neighbour Vi Green.
Jefferies, 39, pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered in May.
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Judge Michael Roach told him: "When you committed this offence you were very much the worse for drink. You had drunk an enormous amount.
"You caused very significant damage and a £57,000 loss. People's homes were badly affected and one elderly lady had to move out."
Paul Cook, prosecuting, said Jefferies sent neighbour Zoe Lamb garbled text messages indicating he had "lost his mind".
Her lad hear him say: "I'm going to burn the place down."
When Ms Lamb saw flames a fire crew was alerted and she and her family, as well as elderly Vi Green, were evacuated.
Firefighters found two seats of fire but no accelerant.
Jefferies was arrested and made no comment.
Edward Burgess, defending, said his client was ill-equipped to cope with adult life, and had always struggled and for many years and turned to drink.
Mr Burgess said: "He has a desperate addiction to it."
The court heard Jefferies long-suffering mother, who attended court, described son as something of a Jekyll and Hyde.
Mr Burgess said: "When he is sober he can be delightful. When drunk he is anything but."
Mr Burgess said Jefferies "ostentatious and histrionic" behaviour drew attention to the fire, which he had threatened to do many times before.