A MENTALLY ill man has been sectioned after an outburst in which he threatened and attacked members of his family and set a coffee table on fire.
Stephen McGovern, 36, formerly of Sycamore Drive on the Lache, admitted arson, affray, assault and making threats to kill during a terrifying incident at the family home on February 6 last year.
McGovern, who, according to doctors, suffers from severe psychosis and believes he is controlled by an alien computer, was sentenced in his absence at Chester Crown Court on Friday.
The defendant was considered too ill to attend court.
Police and fire services were called to the house after an incident with a knife involving McGovern's two half brothers which ended with him setting fire to a coffee table.
Nicholas Williams, prosecuting, said: 'Quite bravely the brothers went back into the house having seen the smoke and flames.
'They could not gain access and had to toss water through the window to help quell the blaze.'
Police arrived and removed McGovern while firefighters tackled the fire itself.
Following the incident he was confined on an interim basis to the Scott Clinic in St Helens.
Judge Rodger Dutton said: 'He falls under section 41 of the Mental Health Act and this order is without limit.
'His case will be regularly reviewed but at the moment compulsory hospital treatment is the only course I can adopt.'
All parties agreed a prison sentence would be inappropriate.