A groom who set fire to a castle where he was holding his wedding reception has been jailed for six years.
37-year-old Max Kay from Hunts Cross in Liverpool caused nearly £6 million worth of damage to Peckforton Castle Hotel near Cheshire.
Over 100 people - who were unharmed - had to be led to safety in June last year.
The jury was told he had an argument with staff at the hotel over a bar bill.
Max Kay was caught on CCTV going into and coming out of the drawing room where the blaze started.
The court heard that Max Kay:
- Had a big ego
- Wanted to impress friends and family
- Under huge financial pressure
- His property business had failed in the economic crash
Kay resented being chased by the owners of the castle for payments and took "revenge" while "massively" drunk after they threatened to cancel the event just three days before the wedding unless they received £15,000 still outstanding.
Half of Cheshire's firefighting resources were called to the blaze and help was even called in from North Wales and Merseyside.
Other guests described Kay looking at the hotel while it was on fire looking "chilled".
He claimed his cigarette had brushed the curtains.
This was dismissed by fire experts who said it would take a "concerted effort" to set them on fire.