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Roofer jailed after carrying out revenge arson attack at home in Maidstone causing £12k of damage


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A roofer started a revenge fire outside a Maidstone house destroying three cars and leaving a mother fearing she was going to die.

Angry Tyler Mitchell bought inflammable liquid before starting a blaze in Tonbridge Road, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

Tyler Mitchell has been jailed after carrying out the arson attack. Picture: Kent Police
Tyler Mitchell has been jailed after carrying out the arson attack. Picture: Kent Police

The 23-year-old had a bust up with his friend James Bromley on May 5, 2020 and targeted his Silver VW Polo.

James' mother told how she saw a glow and realised the car had moved, fearing James, who had earlier gone out for a walk, was trapped inside, said prosecutor Bridget Todd.

Mrs Helen Bromley told Judge Julian Smith: "I opened the curtains and my whole life fell apart. All I could do was scream. I really thought I was going to die."

Mitchell, formerly of Church Hill, Charing, but now of no fixed address, was jailed for 20 months after admitting three arson charges, causing nearly £12,000 worth of damage.

The prosecutor said James' car had been parked near his brother's and mother's cars and a large pine tree.

Tyler Mitchell was jailed at Maidstone Crown Court. Stock picture
Tyler Mitchell was jailed at Maidstone Crown Court. Stock picture

"The family were about to go up to bed when Mrs Bromley noticed an unusually bright light outside the window. She saw flames coming from James' car and screamed before going into panic mode."

Mrs Bromley's husband and son then got her out of the house and to safety over a neighbour's fence.

Ms Todd said that James' brother Carl then tried to open the VW car but was burned as the handle melted in his hand as the fire set alight a wheelie bin and the tree.

The fire service was called and managed to extinguish the flames which had damaged all three cars, writing off two of them.

James told police he had a falling out with Mitchell and when officers went to his home spoke with Mitchell's brother who revealed he had pleaded with him not to start the fire.

James Harrison, defending, said Mitchell suffers from unstable personality disorder, and is now remorseful for his "stupid actions".

Judge Smith retorted: "What on earth was in his mind?"

He said he was jailing Mitchell "with some reluctance" but he had purchased the accelerant in advance of the arson.

After sentencing, PC Jamie Webb, of Maidstone CID said: "Mitchell travelled to the scene of his crime with all the items needed to set fire to his victim’s car.

"His actions were reckless in the extreme and it is fortunate that the swift actions of Kent Fire and Rescue Service brought the blaze under control before it could spread further.

"Such actions demand a prison sentence and it is right that he is now behind bars."

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