Sherwood arson trial: Melanie Shaw found guilty

By rsherdley  |  Posted: October 30, 2014

By Rebecca Sherdley

Nottingham Crown Court

Nottingham Crown Court

Melanie Shaw has been found guilty unanimously by a jury of starting a shed fire and throwing paint on a Sherwood family’s home.
Shaw was convicted of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered on February 1, and damaging property at the same house on June 26.
Judge Michael Pert QC released her on bail on Thursday, October 30, to be sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on December 11.
He has ordered reports from a doctor and probation on the 44-year-old.
He told her she must live at an address not disclosed in open court and be subject to a curfew.
And she must not contact any prosecution witnesses or go within 45 metres of the targeted address.
Shaw is said to have had a grudge against a mother, who lived in Bonnington Crescent with her partner and three children, aged 15, 12 and ten years.
Shaw, a church-goer, lived nearby and had threatened the mother before starting a fire in the family’s garden shed as they slept, the court heard.
The dad, who raised the alarm, told the court how they had all gone to bed when he woke and heard a noise like the sound of running water.
He thought one of the children had left a tap on but when he got up he saw orange flames against the landing window.
“I went to the window, thinking next door was on fire, and saw the shed was ablaze,” he told the court.
Siward James Moore, prosecuting, had asked him what the noise had been and the man replied: “The crackling of the fire.”
Three sheds ran alongside his home and one was fully alight.
“As I looked down, I could see the frame inside the shed,” he said.
He shouted too his partner and children to get out of the house as the shed was on fire.
“My daughter was trying to get her clothes on,” he recalled.
“I basically had to drag her out and get her moving,” he said.
His partner called the fire brigade, while he ran to neighbours’ houses to alert them.
Flammable acetylene gas bottles had been inside the shed but remained intact.
The family could not return immediately to their home until it was considered safe because acetylene can continue to burn inside the cylinder.
The fire happened in the darkness so it was not until the following morning that the family saw abusive graffiti on a door and wall about their daughter.
Four months after starting the blaze, Shaw attacked the family’s home again, throwing paint at the house.

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