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Prolific Dudley arsonist Simon Glazzard jailed for 10 years for torching cars

Friday 25 July 2014

A prolific fire-starter has been jailed for torching cars with a cigarette lighter on an overnight arson spree that caused more than £30,000 worth of damage. 
 
Simon Glazzard attacked a BMW 3-Series in Wolverhampton Road, Wall Heath, just after midnight on September 9 last year before setting fire to a VW Golf and Vauxhall Corsa parked on driveways in nearby Beachcroft Road. 
 
Three other vehicles were found ablaze in a car-port off Wolverhampton Road as fire crews dashed between scenes to protect buildings and prevent fuel tanks from exploding.
 
Glazzard had earlier been spoken to by fire fighters over a small field fire off the A449 and was spotted watching intently from a bus shelter as crews damped down the BMW.
 
Police officers spotted the 36-year-old, of no fixed address, walking briskly away from the car port and when challenged threw a cigarette lighter on the floor.
 
He initially denied arson but went on to admit setting fire to four cars and was also found guilty of torching an outhouse behind the Albion pub in Wall Heath on 29 August last year.
 
And at Wolverhampton Crown Court today (Friday 25 July) Glazzard - who has a previous arson conviction in 2002 for starting a fire in Netto on Dudley High Street - was jailed for a total of 10 years. 
 
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Caroline Morris, said: "These were reckless acts: two of the cars were adjacent to houses, one of which was home to a disabled man, so the flames could easily have leapt to property and endangered lives. And of course there was always the danger of fuel tanks exploding.
 
"He set fire to six vehicles and may well have gone on to torch more had he not been swiftly arrested at the scene."
 
Glazzard - who was drunk and swigging strong cider - reacted angrily when crews extinguished a small field fire at around 11.30pm on 8 September having claimed he was homeless and started it to keep warm. 
 
Less than an hour later the same team were called to a flaming BMW just yards from where Glazzard was last seen; the car was well alight having been started under the boot compartment. 
 
DC Morris added: "These were clearly deliberate attempts to damage property but any kind of fire-starting can have fatal consequences…people could end up spending many years behind bars for what they believe is harmless fun."