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Firebug who torched homes and cars convicted

Maidstone Crown Court where Barbara Gordon-Jones was convicted
Maidstone Crown Court where Barbara Gordon-Jones was convicted

by Keith Hunt

A firebug is facing sentence for starting blazes in three different areas where she lived and causing other damage.

Barbara Gordon-Jones was convicted of 16 charges after an 11-day trial at Maidstone Crown Court.

A judge told the 49-year-old she would need psychiatric reports to see if there was a mental disorder before passing sentence on July 24. She was remanded in custody.

"I am going to have to consider the question of dangerousness," said Judge David Griffith-Jones QC.

The jury of 10 women and two men found Gordon-Jones, of Crockhurst Street, Tudeley, near Tonbridge guilty of six charges of arson with intent to endanger life, seven of arson and three of damaging property. She faced six other charges but they were alternatives to those on which she was convicted.

The court heard Gordon-Jones torched homes and cars, as well as slashing tyres in Bletchingley in Surrey and Chiddingstone and Tudeley in Kent.

Describing her as a "fire setter", prosecutor John Causer said: "Wherever she goes, wherever she lives, fires occur. It was not just an unhappy accident. What makes her do that is obscure. It is hard to tell the mental process that makes someone set fires."

Gordon-Jones and her partner went to live in one of four cottages in the quiet hamlet of Tudeley in November 2007.

On April 25 last year, the roof of neighbour Angela Hudson’s Mini Cooper was slashed. A tyre on her brother Paul’s works van was also cut. The same day, neighbours Ron and Valerie Coleshill discovered three tyres had been slashed on their Toyota Carina.

Miss Hudson had her £14,000 car repaired, only to find on May 22 last year it was destroyed by fire. A replacement also went up in flames on September 23, damaging her brother's van as well.

Mr Causer said Gordon-Jones started a persecution campaign against neighbours, polluting the fish pond of one with soap.

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