Victim speaks about ‘traumatic’ arson attack for first time

PUBLISHED: 11:30 07 February 2020

Melrose Gardens in Ipswich where the arson attack took place in September 2019. Picture: ARCHANT

Melrose Gardens in Ipswich where the arson attack took place in September 2019. Picture: ARCHANT

The victim of an arson attack has spoken of the ‘traumatic’ psychological effects of finding her flat on fire.

The woman, who wanted to remain anonymous, addressed the issue the day after Stuart Fisk, 44, of Melrose Gardens, Ipswich pleaded guilty to the arson which took place in the town on September 9 last year.

"I already suffered from bad mental health but I've really struggled since the fire," she said.

"It was so horrible and traumatic.

"My health has got so much worse since, I couldn't tell you how many doctors appointments I've had.

"Me and my partner were out of the flat when it happened.

"We went back and there were fire engines and police cars and loads of people watching. It was so traumatic. My anxiety got so bad.

"We could have gone into the flat but it gave me really bad anxiety so we decided to move."

Following the fire, the victim said that neither her nor her partner had any suspicions about third party involvement until they checked their CCTV.

Due to the implications of the deliberate act, the couple decided to move out of Suffolk to get away from the building, and the memories that came with it.

She added: "We saw a figure walking towards the door and in the reflection we saw him put something through our letter box. It's horrible to think someone could do that.

"For me my family is such a big coping mechanism for my mental health so moving away from them has been a massive stress on me and my family. I'm having really bad panic attacks now as well, so whenever I travel back here I have to have someone with me."

Despite the traumatic experience, the former Suffolk resident wanted to praise Suffolk police for their work and support during the ordeal.

"The police have been absolutely brilliant and the witness support helper," she said.

"They have always called me and asked me how I am and how my family are.

"When I heard he has pleaded guilty I had tears of joy. Obviously there are still things to be sorted with his sentence.

"I can't wait for it all to be sorted so I can move on from what happened."

At the hearing on Wednesday, the court heard how Fisk had paranoid schizophrenia and his sentencing was delayed for a further medical reports.

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