‘Horrifying and vicious’ arsonist pleads guilty to attempted murder in Doncaster

Michael Parkin
Michael Parkin

A ‘horrifying and vicious’ arsonist has pleaded guilty to attempted murder after starting a fire in a Doncaster home which had children inside.

Michael Parkin, of Melville Avenue, Balby, Doncaster, has admitted trying to kill his ex-partner in an incident on November 26 last year.

Following his guilty plea at Sheffield Crown Court yesterday, police said it was ‘nothing short of miraculous’ his intended victim escaped relatively unharmed.

Parkin, aged 32, had also originally been charged with attempted arson with intent to endanger life, but pleaded guilty to an alternative count of attempted arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered at an earlier hearing.

Speaking after the case, investigating officer Detective Constable Della O’Horo said: “Parkin’s actions that night were horrifying and vicious, and that the victim escaped this ordeal relatively unhurt is nothing short of miraculous.

“His behaviour that night put the lives of several people, including young children, at risk and I am pleased he has pleaded guilty and acknowledged his wrongdoing.

“Domestic violence will not be tolerated in South Yorkshire.”

Parkin was remanded in custody and will be sentenced on July 10.

Justice Stephen Males ordered pre-sentence and psychiatric reports to be carried out on Parkin, while a victim impact statement will be also taken.

Matthew Donkin, prosecuting, said there was ‘clear evidence’ a five-year-old girl had been upstairs in the house when the attempt was made to start the fire.

He said any jail sentence should take account of the ‘impact and harm caused by these offences on the complainant and her family’.

Mr Donkin said it would not be appropriate to pass sentence until the level of physical and psychological harm to the victim from the incident has been fully established.

He said it was the prosecution’s case Parkin had made a ‘planned attempt to kill’.

Parkin was also due to face trial on other charges relating to attempted arson, but following the guilty plea a trial on these counts will not take place.