AN ARSONIST who said he heard voices in his head telling him to start fires has been sent to a psychiatric hospital.
Wrexham man Mark Andrew Salisbury, 35, was considered such a potential danger to the public that a restriction order was made over his future release. This means the Home Office will have to sanction his release when it is considered safe to do so.
Mold Crown Court heard that attempts had been made to get him a place in two different establishments which specialised in dealing with arsonists with learning disabilities but there had been no beds available.
Judge Roger Dutton, sitting at Mold Crown Court, said the order was a preferred choice to prison because
on Salisbury's release, nothing would have been done to tackle his mental health problems. It was in the wider public interest that he be treated to help reduce the risk of future offences.
Salisbury admitted starting three fires, one at Brynteg in 2003 and two at Broad Street, Rhos, last year. He admitted arson on the basis of being reckless as to whether lives were endangered.
Judge Dutton told Salisbury: 'You have pleaded guilty to three separate serious offences of arson, where you set fire to property and you admit having a reckless disregard for the safety of members of the public. That causes me the greatest concern.'
The court heard the fires followed a similar pattern. The defendant would be angry, send his wife out on an errand, and then fires would be started when she was away.
Two were started at his home when he had been complaining to a housing association that he wanted to move, and another was caused at a flat while the occupant was in prison.
Prosecuting barrister Myles Wilson said
on April 30 Salisbury went to the police station and told an officer he was being accused by a neighbour of starting a fire.
He initially alleged a gun had been held at him but when police said they would send firearms officers, he became upset and admitted he had made it up.
Defending barrister Arlene Milne said her client understood what he had done, was deeply remorseful, and was grateful to the medical services who had spent a considerable amount of time to find a suitable establishment that could help him.