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Ipswich: Man who claimed he was holding child hostage in his flat and started fire outside is jailed

PUBLISHED: 11:40 10 April 2014 | UPDATED: 11:40 10 April 2014

Ipswich Crown Court

Ipswich Crown Court

Archant

A 36-year-old man who started a fire in a communal area outside his flat while claiming he was holding a child hostage has been jailed for two years.

Armed police went to Anthony Hoare’s flat above the Corner Shop in Clapgate Lane, Ipswich, at around 10.50pm on January 13.

Hoare had drunk four or five cans of super-strength lager and taken sleeping tablets before starting a fire outside his door, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

A stand-off began after neighbours were disturbed by items being smashed and were concerned the shop beneath Hoare’s one-bedroom flat was being burgled.

It turned out that Hoare was throwing his belongings onto the street below, said Robert Sadd, prosecuting.

Hoare, who was seen waving a knife, claimed he was holding a young child hostage but it was later discovered he was lying.

During the incident Hoare was heard to say: “Someone is going to die tonight. Wait and see,” said Mr Sadd.

Police officers forced entry to the premises and evacuated a mother and her three children from a neighbouring flat while a fire crew put out a fire in the communal area.

When officers entered Hoare’s flat he had walked towards them holding what appeared to be a brick. When he refused to drop it an officer used a Taser on him.

Hoare admitted arson being reckless as to whether lives would be endangered and was jailed for two years.

Describing the offence, Judge John Holt said: “This was a serious incidence of arson which could have got out of control.”

Richard Wood, for Hoare, said at the time of the offence his client had been depressed after a relationship break-up and because he could not get a job.

He had taken a cocktail of drink and prescribed drugs and since the incident had decided to get help and was drinking much less.

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