A court heard today how a drug addict set fire to his father’s bed in a rage after he hid his stash of amphetamine.
The blaze, which Philip Hilton started using petrol, wrecked the bedroom at his Wirral home and caused smoke damage to the rest of the house.
It was claimed by the prosecution that their family dog died in the blaze but Hilton’s mum, sitting in the public gallery, interrupted to assure the court that the dog, Rambo, had survived and was fine.
Jailing 26-year-old Hilton for two years Judge Alan Conrad, QC, said he had read his father’s “moving” impact statement. “He has suffered but still loves you.”
He told Hilton, “You have good and caring parents who have both suffered a great deal as a result of what you have done.”
The judge, said, “Because you could not get hold of your drugs, which had been confiscated and hidden, you set fire to your father’s bed and it was planned.
"You obtained petrol and poured it on the bed and set it alight.
“The bedroom was destroyed and there was widespread damage in the house and you put a lot of people at risk.”
Judge Conrad said he took into account that he had called the police and has no previous convictions “but it is a matter of concern that when you could not get the drugs to which you are clearly addicted, and caused your behaviour to change, you reacted in this way.”
Hilton, who lives with his father in the house in Ridgemere Road, Pensby, pleaded guilty to arson being reckless whether life is endangered.
Rob Jones, prosecuting, said that on the evening of November 8 Hilton’s father went out for the evening and his son kept texting and ringing him increasingly angry that he had hidden his stash of amphetamine.
Eventually he turned his phone off and consequently did not pick up a voice mail from threatening to set fire to his clothes.
When police arrived at the scene they found smoke billowing out and Hilton was standing nearby with his track suit bottoms scorched and his hair singed.
Mr Jones said that the defendant’s father is having trouble with the insurance company paying for the repairs as the blaze had been started deliberately.
Andrew McGuinness, defending, said Hilton had just intended setting fire to his father’s clothes and had then tried to stamp out the blaze which was why his trousers were scorched.
Hilton, who was sectioned in 2012, recognised that his illegal drug intake interfered with his medication.
“He is now aware that the professionals know what is best for him and intends to co-operate with them,” said Mr McGuinness