…By Alan Peterson for TDPel Media.
In a shocking court hearing, it was revealed that a man stole two bottles of wine and intentionally ignited a fire in his friend’s apartment.
Marcus Margetson, the perpetrator, subsequently contacted emergency services to report his actions and falsely claimed there were other individuals present in the building.
The devastating fire gutted the victim’s property, resulting in irreparable damage, including the loss of cherished photographs of his deceased mother.
The judge, while sentencing Margetson to prison, emphasized the potential loss of life that could have occurred due to the defendant’s reckless actions.
The Arson Incident and Damages:
Alycia Carpanini, the prosecuting lawyer, presented the case at Swansea Crown Court.
The incident took place on April 29 of this year when Margetson stole two bottles of wine from a local shop.
Later that evening, he dialed emergency services to confess that he had consumed the stolen wine and deliberately set fire to a mattress in a flat located on Station Road in Port Talbot.
Margetson falsely claimed the presence of other people within the property.
The resulting blaze caused significant fire and smoke damage to the flat, which belonged to a social housing provider called Tai Tarian.
Fortunately, the fire did not spread to the other five flats in the building. Fire investigators determined that the fire originated from the bedroom, specifically the mattress. Margetson was apprehended at the scene.
Tragically, the victim, who had known Margetson for two decades, lost everything in the fire, including irreplaceable photographs of his late mother.
The Defendant’s Background and Plea:
Marcus Rhys Margetson, a resident of Margam, Port Talbot, pleaded guilty to the charge of reckless arson, endangering lives.
His criminal record included 43 previous convictions, encompassing thefts, public order offenses, and 12 counts of criminal damage.
During the sentencing hearing, Andrew Evans, Margetson’s defense attorney, cited a pre-sentence report that highlighted the defendant’s troubled childhood, which contributed to his substance abuse issues.
Evans stated that Margetson had not intended to cause harm to his friend or damage his property.
Acknowledging the inevitability of a custodial sentence, Evans expressed hope that Margetson could address his longstanding alcohol and drug problems and build a meaningful life for himself in his 30s.
The Judge’s Remarks and Sentencing:
Judge Geraint Walters addressed Margetson, emphasizing the dangerous nature of his actions, as they could have resulted in loss of life.
The judge noted that, had someone died in the fire, Margetson would have faced a manslaughter charge.
A probation officer’s assessment revealed that the defendant posed a significant risk to the public when under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
However, due to legal guidelines and the discount offered for Margetson’s guilty plea, the judge was unable to impose a longer sentence that would have allowed for an extended period as a dangerous offender.
Consequently, Margetson received a sentence of three years and four months in prison, with eligibility for release on license after serving half the sentence, to complete the remainder in the community.
Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn