Pensioner Malcolm Simpson jailed for seven years for arsons

Pensioner Malcolm Simpson jailed for seven years for arsons

Nicola Hine

Pensioner Malcolm Simpson jailed for seven years for arsons
Malcolm Simpson

A 68-year-old man found guilty of starting three deliberate fires in his own street in Maidenhead was jailed for seven years today.

Malcolm Simpson appeared at Reading Crown Court for sentencing, having been convicted on June 3 of three counts of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The charges relate to two house fires and a truck fire in Lancaster Road between October 2011 and October last year. Simpson stood trial in May.

At the hearing this afternoon, Judge John Reddihough noted that no-one was hurt during any of the fires.

But he said: "Only a substantial custodial sentence is appropriate for such serious, calculated and potentially life-threatening behaviour."

He sentenced Simpson to seven years in prison for each count, to run concurrently - meaning an overall total of seven years, minus 53 days spent under an electronic curfew. He is expected to serve half the sentence.

Simpson was also given a restraining order preventing him from contacting the victims of the fires.

See next week's Advertiser for a full report.

Read previous reports from the case below.

Update 1 - Malcolm Simpson, 68, on trial for Lancaster Road arsons

Update 2 - Simpson trial: Arson victim questioned by defence

Update 3 - Simpson trial: Neighbour claims defendant was 'obsessed' with victim

Update 4 - Simpson trial: Pensioner denies starting fires

Update 5 - Simpson trial: Jury considers its verdicts

Update 6 - Malcolm Simpson found guilty of Lancaster Road arsons

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