Pair jailed for 'cowardly' arson that risked mother and childs' lives
- Credit: Norfolk Police
A family were forced to flee their home after arsonists poured petrol through their letterbox and tried to set it alight.
Bradley Buckley, 27, of Old House Lane, Roydon, poured petrol and tried to set light to it, before setting fire to a fence at the side of a property on Metamec Drive in Dereham.
On May 3, 2020, Buckley, along with Laura White, 26, of Main Road, Fransham bought petrol and a lighter from a local petrol station at 8pm before White drove them both to the victim's address.
After setting fire to the fence, which was next to a mains gas pipe, Buckley then poured petrol over the victim's car and set it alight, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
The victim, who was known to White, and her young daughter were in the property at the time and managed to escape through the building’s only exit, the front door, after the fire failed to spread.
Following enquiries, officers later found the defendants at an address in Stanfield where they were both arrested.
In a statement the victim detailed the mental toll that the attack took on her and her young daughter.
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She said: "[My daughter] is still conscious of who is around and what is happening, and is extremely concerned about me and my safety … I am worried about strangers being around my home.”
“I know that the harm that could have been caused to my daughter and I could have been so much worse, and it could have caused me or my daughter, or anyone else living around us to have been seriously harmed.
"One of the fires was right next to the main gas pipe and I dread to think what could have been done.
"I worry about the possibility of both of them being released out on to the streets, as I don’t trust them at all. It really worries me what they could do to me, my daughter, or my family.”
Buckley and White appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Wednesday, December 16, where they pleaded guilty to charges of arson.
Buckley was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison.
White was sentenced to three years' imprisonment.
Detective constable Daniel Mather said: "In this case, a mother and child were subjected to an unprovoked and cowardly attack which could, frankly, have ended their lives.
"While they were lucky to have escaped physically unharmed, the mental impact this attack has had on them as a family is huge.
"I can’t imagine the fear they must have felt, and have continued to experience as a result of what happened.
"We can’t change what happened, but hopefully this week’s result will allow some degree of closure for the victims.
"I’d like to thank the witnesses and victims who have bravely spoken out to help us investigate and bring the defendants to justice.”