Grimsby woman mistakenly sets fire to elderly man's home in revenge attack against date

Janie Peckitt, of Haycroft Street, Grimsby, admitted arson with intent to endanger life Credit: Grimsby Live/MEN MEDIA

A woman who set fire to an elderly man's home wrongly believing it to be the address of a man she had dated, has been jailed.

Janie Ann Peckitt travelled to Macaulay Way in Grimsby armed with inflammable fuel  to carry out the revenge attack after feeling betrayed by a man she had met on just "a couple of occasions."

Grimsby Crown Court heard that Peckitt was "jealous" because of the man's conduct and did some digging to find out where he lived but got the wrong house.

The 57-year-old set a rag on fire and posted it through the letterbox of an elderly man instead, causing thousands of pounds worth of damage. He managed to escape without injuries.

Prosecutor David Hall said: "The way she armed herself with an accelerant, a rag and a lighter - she had a clear intention that he should suffer harm."

Grimsby Crown Court

When police and emergency services arrived at the blaze at 2.30am on August 11, 2022, Peckitt "spat in the face" of a police officer, the court heard.

Mitigating, Craig Lowe told the court that Peckitt suffered with complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) following childhood abuse and a history of violent relationships.

Sentencing Peckitt, Judge John Thackray said it was an "extraordinary reaction" to someone she had known for such a short time.

"Fires quickly take hold, lives are easily endangered and lives are lost, and that could have so easily happened here - not to your intended victim, because you were given the wrong address - a man with significant mobility difficulties.

"It was only by pure chance that he had not properly moved into the property and was in the process of moving in his possessions.

Had your offence taken place a week or two later, you could so easily have been sat in that dock being sentenced for murder and facing a life sentence."

Peckitt was sentenced to six years in prison. She will have to serve half before being considered for release on licence.

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