Drunken boyfriend jailed for 'utterly mindless' arson attack after party row in Harwich

ANGLIA 290823 Edward Teagle
Essex Police
Edward Teagle claimed he was so drunk he could not remember setting fire to the curtains. Credit: Essex Police

A drunken partygoer who set fire to curtains in a block of flats after an argument with his partner has been jailed for two-and-a-half years.

Essex Police said Edward Teagle, 34, put lives at risk through his "mindless" behaviour at the building in Harwich in March.

Teagle had been at a party on the third floor of the building when he and his partner had the row.

The court heard Teagle, who was drunk and angry, left the flat and went down to the second floor, where he used a lighter to set fire to several curtains and the carpet in the communal hallway.

Smoke alarms went off and people living in the building managed to put out the fires.

When police arrived they arrested Teagle, of Norway Crescent, Harwich, and found a lighter on him.

CCTV cameras had caught him starting the fires.

Curtains on fire in the hallway after Teagle had set them alight. Credit: Essex Police

Det Con Fletcher Devlin said: "He claimed he could not remember committing the offences due to being intoxicated, but this is no excuse for his reckless actions.

“It is incredibly lucky we weren’t confronted with a far worse outcome.”

Teagle was charged and, due to the weight of evidence compiled against him, admitted arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered.

A shirtless Teagle was caught on CCTV setting the curtains on fire Credit: Essex Police

Appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Thursday, he was jailed for two years and six months. Det Supt Thomas Vickers added: “Teagle’s actions risked the lives of multiple people living in that block of flats. “He had been involved in an argument and saw fit to express his anger and displeasure by engaging in an utterly mindless act."

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