Arsonist killed innocent Old Swan grandad after setting fire to wrong house over drug row

George Redmond, 76, was killed after his house in Old Swan was set alight. Credit: Liverpool Echo

Arsonists who killed an innocent grandfather by mistakenly torching his home over a drugs row have admitted manslaughter.George Redmond, 76, died two weeks after his house on Dorien Road in Old Swan, Liverpool, was set alight in the early hours of 1 September 2022.

Liverpool Crown Court heard how the arsonists "targeted the wrong house" in what was intended as a "retaliatory attack".

Mr Redmond fell inside the home he shared with his wife Mary while attempting to flee the blaze. He died in hospital two weeks later on 16 September.

(Left) Fraser Dolman and Wayne Hepburn both pleaded guilty to manslaughter. Credit: Liverpool Echo

Fraser Dolman, 37, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and conspiracy to commit arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered in connection with the incident.

Dolman, of Richmond Drive in Leigh, previously admitted being concerned in the supply of heroin and crack cocaine.James Goulding, 26, of Dentons Green Lane in St Helens, earlier pleaded guilty to the drugs offences, while Wayne Hepburn, of Kingsley Avenue in Salford, admitted manslaughter during a hearing before the same court on 23 June.

The 47-year-old also pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.Henry Riding, prosecuting, told the court: "This appears to have been an arson attack because of some drugs problem. They were not intending to burn down the house of the occupant.

"It was a warning of some description, a retaliatory attack as far as the supposed occupants were concerned. Mr Hepburn, in effect, targeted the wrong house."

The arson attack happened in the early hours of the morning. Credit: Liverpool Echo

All three men will be sentenced on Friday 21 July.

Dolman and Goulding were remanded into custody by the Honorary Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary KC, with Hepburn also currently being held in prison awaiting sentence.In a statement released shortly after his death, his family said: "With extreme sadness, we announce the death of a lovely husband, dad and granddad, George Redmond, who died suddenly on September 16 in hospital.

"He was making great progress in his rehabilitation and was already mobile and regaining his independence, so his sudden death was unexpected and utterly tragic and we as a family are absolutely struggling to come to terms with it all."We are beyond heartbroken and hope whoever is responsible for this appalling act is swiftly brought to justice.

"George leaves behind his much-loved wife Mary, to whom he was married for 52 amazing years, and three much-loved daughters - Kathryn, Karyn and Angela - as well as six grandchildren and not forgetting Belle, his beloved cockapoo."We will love and miss him forever, and hope there is a steady supply of custard creams wherever he is now. Rest peacefully George."

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