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Teen jailed for revenge arson causing ÃÂ£50k damage to Northwood Hills pub
A TEENAGER will spend Christmas behind bars after causing ÃÂ£50,000 of damage to a Northwood Hills pub in a revenge arson attack.
Daniel Card (pictured), 19, of Copthall Road East, Ickenham, was jailed for 16 months at Harrow Crown Court today (23) after admitting to setting fire to The Woodman pub on February 24 this year.
Prosecuting, Jessica Deuchar told the court that prior to the blaze, Card recently started drinking at the pub and Woody's Bar, both in Joel Street and owned by Alan Coleshill.
He got to know Mr Coleshill and at Woody's Bar on February 23, asked if he could borrow a set of speakers in the hope of setting up a DJ business - a request which was refused.
Mr Coleshill left Woody's Bar at about 10.45pm to close up The Woodman. He returned to the bar and saw Card leaving at about 1am.
At about 4.38am, Card informed the fire brigade that The Woodman was ablaze. He said he had seen smoke coming from the back of the pub while he was on his way home, and that a window had been smashed. He also said he checked that no one was inside the building at the time.
But the court heard the fire brigade was not satisfied with Card's story and called the police.
An investigation found the fire had been started in a deep fat fryer inside the pub kitchen, where two empty bottles of Smirnoff Ice were found. Another three bottles were discovered in the bar area.
Forensic tests revealed DNA on the bottles matched Card's, plus glass samples taken from the broken window matched fragments found in his jacket.
During a police interview, Card, who has previous convictions for class A drug possession and taking a vehicle without consent, maintained his original story - but later admitted starting the blaze.
The fire caused an estimated ÃÂ£50,000 worth of damage, including loss of earnings, as the kitchen was unusable for a month.
Representing Card, Roger Daniells-Smith told the court: "This is a 19-year-old lad who was very drunk and upset about not being able to borrow the speakers.
"He is very young for 19 and rather naÃÂ¯ve. He didn't foresee the consequences of what he had done.
"This was a drink-fuelled act of stupidity, which was also the case when he was previously convicted.
"He has a tiny frame for a young man and alcohol has a devastating effect on his system."
But His Honour Judge Greenwood said he had no option other than to impose a custodial sentence. Card will spend half of his sentence in a young offenders' institute, and the remainder on licence.
Sentencing, he told Card: "There is no escaping from the fact that this is a serious offence, and I'm sure you realise that yourself.
"You caused significant damage, probably because you were very cross that Mr Coleshill wouldn't lend you the speakers.
"ÃÂ£50,000 is a lot of money for someone to lose and as you are unable to pay compensation, you must be punished."
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