Woman fired fireworks at girlfriend’s apartment, causing damage of thousands of pounds

A woman set off a fireworks display at her boyfriend’s apartment, causing a fire and damage worth thousands of pounds.

Collette McClean, 33, and her then-partner were drinking in the rented apartment on Berry Street in Swinton when one of their neighbors saw smoke ‘pick’ out the window.

She called 999 and stood outside before being joined by McClean, who said to her, “I dropped a firework in the apartment, have you seen Pete?”

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McClean from Crumpsall seemed ‘sad’ and in pain, with blood dripping from her finger, Manchester Crown Court heard.

Firefighters ran to the apartment at Richmond Court and used respirators and a hose to put out the flames.

McClean has since pleaded guilty to the crime of arson on a reckless basis and was today sentenced to a suspended prison sentence.

Peter Gilmour, prosecutor, said that on November 21 last year around noon.



Collette McClean was sentenced to a suspended sentence

“A fire investigation report was prepared on the assumption that both residents were under the influence of alcohol,” he said.

“Both told that she lit fireworks inside the premises.

“The inspector said the fire started from an initial spark, namely the fireworks that set fire to some clothing close to the couch.”

Both McClean and her then-partner were inside the apartment at the time.

There were no residents left in the apartment block after the concern was raised.

After the fire, the couple was told to leave the apartment by the apartment owner, as there had also been other problems, the court heard.

McClean is said to have two previous convictions, the most recent being for a crime of wounds in November 2015.

Mitigatingly, Andrew Smith said the owner of the apartment had sought compensation in the amount of £ 21,000, but it included remodeling and an electrical diversion.

“If you look at the pictures of the damage, it shows the extent of the damage, which is limited to one wall,” he said.

“I ask the court to consider whether there was in fact a serious risk of injury in this case.”

Manchester courts are some of the busiest in the country with a wide range of cases being processed each week.

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He noted the contents of a probation report and a psychiatric report available to the judge, adding: “There is a combination of personal difficulties and abuse.

“With her age and her early recognition of guilt in mind, I would argue that in order to preserve her freedom, a number of strict conditions can be imposed.

“She urges the court to give her an opportunity.”

Judge Anthony Cross QC said in sentencing her: “This offense is so serious that only a custodial sentence can be an appropriate sentence in your case – there is no doubt about it.

“You had taken alcohol and were more preoccupied with what was going on in your life.

“Had the consequences been worse, I would have sent you to jail.

“If you violate the order I want to give you, it would give me great pleasure to send you to jail for Christmas.”

McClean of Cleveland Road was sentenced to 18 months in prison, which was suspended for two years, a nine-month alcohol treatment program and demands for 30 days of rehabilitation activity.

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