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Arsonist lit bins on fire to 'calm his nerves'

Shane Clarke, who set litter bins on fire to ‘calm his nerves’, has been sentenced. 
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Arsonists sentenced for three bin fires (Photo: John Baker)

The 33-year-old, set two bins alight and put a burning letter through a front door, all in Peterborough, in June. 

When arrested he admitted the offences and told police he was stressed and lighting the fires helped to calm his nerves. 

Officers were alerted to the first of the blazes at about 4am on June 2, in Central Avenue, where residents reported a bin on fire. 

The following day in the early hours of the morning, Clarke lit a letter, addressed to himself, and attempted to post it though a letterbox of a home in Central Avenue. However, an occupant was alerted by a friend and only slight damage to the letterbox was caused. Clarke’s name and address were still visible on the letter. 

Later that morning, police were called to reports of another bin being set alight, this time in Meadenvale. Local people identified Clarke and he was arrested. 

Clarke, of Vere Road, Peterborough, admitted three counts of arson and on Wednesday, December, 23,  he was sentenced to six months imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was also handed a 40-day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. 

DC Sam Delmer said: “Clarke clearly put very little thought into his actions and how they might impact others. 
 
“I am thankful nobody was injured as a result of Clarke’s recklessness and hope this sentence will put an end to his criminal behaviour.”