Doncaster bail hostel arsonist jailed

38-42 Christ Church Road, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Hostel MC 2
38-42 Christ Church Road, Doncaster. Picture: Marie Caley NDFP Hostel MC 2

An arsonist who set fire to his room at a Doncaster bail hostel causing £40,000 damage has been jailed for four years.

CCTV pictures at Doncaster’s Town Moor hostel showed Martin McMullen, aged 25, smashing a fire extinguisher into a fire alarm after he had been confined in his bedroom.

Martin McMullen, an arsonist who set fire to his room at a Doncaster bail hostel causing �40,000 damage, who has been jailed for four years.

Martin McMullen, an arsonist who set fire to his room at a Doncaster bail hostel causing �40,000 damage, who has been jailed for four years.

He then went into a lounge and caused a large amount of damage before going back to his room, from which smoke and the ‘glow’ of a fire began to emerge.

Sheffield Crown Court heard firefighters put out the blaze but the room was wrecked and there was smoke damage to the building.

The other occupants were safely evacuated, said Michael Tooley, prosecuting.

McMullen had previously been jailed for 12 months for barricading himself into a room and setting fire to the contents of a waste paper bin at a hospital where he was being treated in January 2013.

On his release he was required to live at Town Moor but his behaviour became more erratic until the fire incident on June 10 last year.

When shown the CCTV pictures of his actions he ‘just laughed’, said Mr Tooley.

Sara Davie, defending, said McMullen was ‘physically, emotionally and sexually’ abused between the ages of six and 11 and began drinking heavily and smoking, aged just 10. He was also self-harming.

McMullen was diagnosed with a social personality disorder four years ago and had since received treatment, which was helping.

The first arson offence was in protest at him being transferred from the hospital where he was being treated and he was released from prison just two months before the Town Moor incident.

He was told he was being released into the community and did not feel he was ready to end his treatment and went into a downward spiral.

“He hadn’t taken his medication and drank three cans of lager, which led to his outburst,” said Miss Davie.

“He doesn’t have a clear memory of what happened.”

McMullen, of no fixed address, admitted reckless arson and criminal damage.

Judge Mark Gargan said his ‘difficult’ upbringing had caused him to develop significant psychological problems which lay at the root of his offending.

He said: “Shortly after your release from prison you committed a similar type of offence which gave rise to a risk of people being injured, although I accept people were evacuated in good time.

“Nevertheless this shows a troubling development in your offending.”