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Woman who started a fire that killed a man in his home avoids jail

The 91-year-old tried to escape from his ground floor bedroom, but was overcome by smoke.

Image: PSNI

A WOMAN WHO started a fire which led to the death of her neighbour in Co Down has been spared a jail sentence.

Samuel Carson died in September 2014 after a fire spread from the woman’s garage to his bungalow.

The court heard that the 91-year-old tried to escape from his ground floor bedroom, but was overcome by smoke.

BBC News reports that the woman previously pleaded guilty to a charge of manslaughter.

She had been suffering from emotional and psychiatric problems for some time before the incident and the judge said he accepted that she started the fire without contemplating that it would result in the death of an extremely decent individual.

The family of Samuel Carson released a statement following the sentence of a combined probation and community service order. It stated:

The Carson family are disappointed by the sentence handed down by the Judge today however they are glad that this now brings closure to the terrible circumstances of their father Samuel Carson’s death and would ask for privacy from the media now to allow them to get on with their lives.

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Detective Sergeant Ian Davis, from the PSNI’s Serious Crime Branch, said: “The reckless act carried out by the defendant led to the needless death of a much loved father, grandfather and great grandfather.

Police carried out a rigorous investigation and in partnership with the PPS gathered the evidence required to bring about this defendant’s guilty plea.

“This was a tragic case and the thoughts of the investigation team are very much with Mr Carson’s family today.”

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