Son torches father’s home over argument

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A DAD who offered to put his son’s name on the tenancy of his Doncaster council house was repaid by having it set on fire while he was in the pub.

Lee James, 20, fell out with his father, Robert, during the meeting to change the tenancy document and caused £4,500 of damage by committing the arson on Friday, February 24.

He is now behind bars after he was sentenced to two years in a young offenders’ institution after admitting arson being reckless as to whether lives were endangered.

He also admitted a separate charge of assault causing actual bodily harm, after he broke a man’s teeth when he punched him on Doncaster railway station, for which he received a further four months.

Jeremy Evans, prosecuting, said James and his father went to Doncaster Council offices together to alter the tenancy of their home in Aldam Road, Balby, but they fell out and he walked off.

The two men met again later in a pub and had another argument before Mr James snr walked home to find fire crews putting out a blaze in the living room which had spread to the next room. Neighbours raised the alarm when they smelled smoke.

Mr Evans said the son also texted his mother to say ‘he had burned down his father’s home’.

Richard Haigh, mitigating, said James and his father had a turbulent relationship and at the council offices ‘he made him look like an idiot’.

Mr Haigh said: “James decided, in revenge, to set the house on fire. It never crossed his mind somebody was in next door.”