A MAN who caused an explosion at his flat had been released on licence from a life sentence after murdering his wife, The Chronicle can exclusively reveal.
Sidney Thomas, 63, this week pleaded guilty at Chester Crown Court to arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered, after setting fire to his Hoole Lane flat, Boughton, in the early hours of July 17 last year.
The court heard Thomas, who is currently detained under the Mental Health Act, was convicted in 1970 for murdering his then wife and could be recalled to prison to serve the remainder of his life sentence.
Thomas was not at home when a fireball ripped through his flat, destroying the entire block which must now be demolished. Amazingly, nobody was injured.
The Chronicle received family photos and letters from Thomas in the post on the day of the explosion, in which he claimed to be “making a visible statement to the world”.
We immediately contacted police because Thomas indicated he may take his own life following the death of his second wife Joyce, 71, at the Countess of Chester Hospital earlier in the month.
He claimed he was “ill” because he was being evicted by Chester & District Housing Trust.
He said: “I am making a visible statement to the world that the old and ill are vulnerable to these evil people and they are doing it not just to us, but others in the local community.”
He added: “I go to join my lovely Joyce in death as in life we were together and happy before this evil Group appeared and shattered our happiness.”
Thomas will be sentenced on April 12 when Judge Roger Dutton considers the issue of “dangerousness”.