Men jailed after arson in Sunderland
15 Mar 2018 12:00 PM[View Full Size]
A leader of an organised crime group has been jailed after a number of arson attacks in County Durham.
Alan Smart, 39 of Shrewsbury Crescent, Sunderland received a life sentence, following an investigation into three arson attacks between 2011 and 2012.
Smart carried out three arson attacks aimed at a Durham man and his partner. The third and most serious attack took place in April 2012, and involved setting fire to a house in Seaham.
The resident of the house was asleep when the fire started and was lucky to escape with her life.
David Roberts, 54 of Sorley Street, Sunderland has also been found guilty of conspiracy to commit arson with intent to endanger a life in connection with this incident, and received a sentence of three years.
D/Inspector David English said: "The crimes carried out by Alan Smart were cruel and fuelled by malicious intent. The arson attacks in the winter of 2011-12 escalated, with extensive damage being caused and a real risk to life. The sentence that he has received today reflects the horrific level of his crimes.
"Sunderland is a safer place with these individuals behind bars and we hope it sends a strong message to the public - nobody is untouchable and nobody is above the law.”
“Alan Smart thought he was untouchable, and that he would never get caught. We hope the verdict today is a comfort to the people of Sunderland, who have been terrorised by this man for many years.”