Doncaster arsonist gets extended sentence after house fire which burnt 70% of his mum's body

An arsonist from Doncaster has had his sentence increased following an intervention by the Solicitor General, Rt Hon Lucy Frazer QC MP.

Friday, 11th June 2021, 12:55 pm

Connor O’Rourke, aged 23, pleaded guilty to arson after setting fire to a neighbour’s home in the Wadworth area of Doncaster. O’Rourke’s own mother was in the property at the time.

On June 26, 2020, O’Rourke took a can of petrol and poured it over the front garden of the home. The fire subsequently spread to the main house.

Two women inside the home sustained injuries, including O’Rourke’s own mother who suffered burns over nearly 70 per cent of her body and needed to be placed on a ventilator.

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Connor O'Rourke
Connor O'Rourke

On March 5, 2021, O’Rourke was convicted of arson, being reckless as to whether life is endangered, and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment at Sheffield Crown Court.

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Following the court’s decision, the Solicitor General referred the sentence to the Court of Appeal under the Unduly Lenient Sentence (ULS) scheme.

Today, Friday, June 11, the court found the sentence to be unduly lenien.

The court took the decision to increase the sentence to six years’ imprisonment along with a three-year extended licence too.

After the hearing at the Court of Appeal the Solicitor General, Rt Hon Lucy Frazer QC MP, said: “I was shocked by O’Rourke’s incredibly reckless and dangerous behaviour, which resulted in two women sustaining serious injuries. He also put the other residents at grave risk. I am glad that the Court of Appeal increased his sentence today.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Liam Hoden, editor.