Woman spared jail over tragic suicide attempt

IPSWICH: A grieving woman who tried to set her own house on fire has been spared a jail sentence.

Tina Brown had admitted starting a fire at her home in Ipswich in January after a drinking session following her mother’s funeral.

But at Ipswich Crown Court, Judge John Holt gave Brown, of Bader Close, a chance to sort her life out.

The court heard that on the evening of January 6, Brown had returned from her mother’s funeral and fallen asleep on a sofa, before waking up and setting fire to a pile of newspapers near the front door of her flat.

Realising what she had done, she called the emergency services as the fire began to spread and when police arrived they found her to be “intoxicated” and unsteady on her feet.

Neil Saunders, mitigating, said Brown had a “small network of friends who would support her”, adding: “She wants to break this huge and lengthy cycle because it’s been going on for years and years.

“To be fair, if she carries on drinking she will be going to the cemetery.

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“She is 41 and has got whatever time left to her and wants to use it to her own advantage and move forward.”

Judge Holt said Brown, 41, had pleaded guilty “from the outset” and acknowledged a “very impressive” psychiatric report which had been carried out before the hearing.

He said: “I accept his (the psychiatrist’s) diagnosis that your motivation was suicidal, to all intents and purposes.

“It seems to me you are not a danger to the public and in these circumstances I can, in principle, adopt the recommendations of the pre-sentence report, which is a community order.”

Brown was given a two year supervision order, with a one year order deemed “too short”, but was not ordered to pay any defence costs.