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Ipswich woman who admitted starting fire at Colchester home faces jail, judge warns

PUBLISHED: 16:13 19 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:13 19 March 2018

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

An Ipswich woman who started a fire at a house in Colchester has been warned she could be jailed when she is sentenced in May.

Before Ipswich Crown Court yesterday was Laura King, 25, of Tye Road, Ipswich who pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered on September 5, 2016 at a house in Barrack Street, Colchester.

A second charge of arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered on January 9, 2016 at a house in Priory Street, which she denied, was accepted by the prosecution and was ordered to be left on the court file.

Adjourning sentence until May 11 for psychiatric and pre-sentence reports, Judge David Goodin told King that arson was a serious offence and he wouldn’t be bound by any recommendations made in the pre-sentence report.

“I mustn’t hold out any sentence one way or the other. It may be that prison might be where you have to go,” said the judge.

Judge Goodin described King’s behaviour as “frightening” and said the case had some unusual features.

Last year King went on trial at Ipswich Crown Court after pleading not guilty to arson at houses in Barrack Street and Priory Street, Colchester being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.

During the trial King became unwell and the jury was discharged.

A retrial was due to have started yesterday but King entered satisfactory pleas to the charges before a jury was empanelled.

During the earlier trial the court heard that King started the fire at the house in Barrack Street where she lived with her boyfriend on September 5, 2016.

On the day in question, King’s partner had left the property to stay with his parents following an argument with her.

Later that evening, a man working at a nearby shop noticed flames coming from the house and forced his way in.

He found King sitting on the floor against a sofa and he dragged her out.

King went back inside the house and was again rescued by the fire service.

The court heard that King had left some tea lights around the living room and had left an iron on at full heat.

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