Woman used festive slippers to start blaze

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A woman used a pair of novelty Christmas slippers to set her ex-boyfriend’s front door alight after he rebuffed her attempt to rekindle their relationship, a court heard.

Stacey Smith, of Jasmine Close, Ipswich, pleaded guilty when she appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court to arson.

The 28-year-old committed the offence on July 7.

David Bryant, prosecuting, said Smith had tried to get back together with James Milbourne but her attempt had “fallen on deaf ears”.

She went to his Ipswich Borough Council-owned two- bedroom flat in Woodbridge Road at around 6pm. Mr Milbourne was not at home. Smith was banging on the door and shouting.

A short while later Mr Milbourne returned to the premises from work.

Smith attempted to speak to him but he did not want anything to do with her, the court heard.

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Mr Bryant said Smith told him: “Just look what’s happened to the front door. There’s more to come.”

Mr Milbourne then walked to his flat to see the door was on fire.

The estimated bill for repair and labour was said to amount to £700. The court was told Smith used a pair of novelty Christmas slippers to set light to the door.

Mr Bryant said Smith had said it was done in an act of rage.

Magistrates heard that it was a very small fire.

Sue Threadkell, representing Smith, said there had been a sharp downward spiral in her behaviour.

This had been brought about by a combination of various issues, some involving previous relationships.

The court was told Smith had been misusing alcohol since she was aged 13.

Mrs Threadkell said: “A lot of negatives have taken hold of this young lady and she needs setting back on the right track.”

The magistrates took the view that a pre-sentence report was required before a decision could be made as to where the sentencing would take place.

They said they would be leaving all options open, including sending the matter to Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing.

The case was adjourned until September 7. Smith was released on conditional bail.