A raging mum set fire to the home of her ‘friend with benefits’ because she thought he had gone to see another woman.
Keirra Levitt was left alone in the man’s flat after he left to go and buy more alcohol but she became convinced he was up to no good.
A court heard she set fire to his shoes in the porch, which sparked a blaze that resulted in three fire engines attending to put out and left the home uninhabitable.
After starting the fire on December 19 last year, the 30-year-old sent the man messages warning “be the last time you try and mug me off”, “watch your house go up in flames” and “you won’t have no home left” before getting a a taxi home.
Prosecutor Vince Ward told the court: “It is clear from the messages that she thought he had met another woman.”
The court heard a delivery driver who tried to drop off a takeaway saw the silhouette of someone in the property, which was above a shop at Thorndale Road, Sunderland, when he tried to deliver the pizza initially but got no answer.
He returned ten minutes later, the front door was open and when he saw the place was on fire he feared someone was inside.
Mr Ward told the court: “He went in to see if she was still there. He didn’t find anyone.
“He tried to put the fire out, the fire was in the hallway, just inside the front door.
“He tried to put the fire out using water and a wet towel but by the time he got back to it, having searched the flat, it had grown considerably and he was unable to put it out so he ran out and phoned the fire service.
“When he got out he could see fire by that time had taken over the whole of the doorway.”
The court heard the victim, who rented the flat, got back at around 11pm, 45 minutes after he went out, and the fire service were there.
The owner of the property said the flat sustained fire, smoke and water damage and the shop below was also affected and had to be closed for three days.
Mr Ward said there was no figure for the exact amount of damage caused but could be estimated at “four figures”.
The court heard Levitt had met the flat tenant over Facebook and he said they were “friends with benefits”.
Mr Ward said they had drank alcohol together before the man went out that night.
When arrested the next morning, Levitt said she had been “raging” and “no-one was going to make a mug of her”.
Levitt, of Essex Grove, Sunderland, admitted arson being reckless to whether life would be endangered.
Judge Julie Clemitson said she had endangered the lives of several people although no one was hurt.
She told her: “You didn’t think of the consequences because you were so blinded by your own anger”
The judge said she had read positive references about Levitt and said she would suspend her prison sentence due to the impact sending her to custody would have on her disabled son, who she is the sole carer for, and her mother, who she also looks after.
She was sentenced to two years suspended for two years with a 10 month curfew, an alcohol treatment requirement and rehabilitation.
Rachel Hedworth, defending, said Levitt has never been in trouble before, has character references and has caring responsibilities.
Miss Hedworth said Levitt’s behaviour was “utterly out of character” and accepted the delivery driver “risked his own life” by going into the building to try and save her.
She added that her young son has physical and mental disabilities and needs his mum’s care.
The court heard Levitt has mental health issues and has sought professional intervention.
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