Man pleads guilty after fatal arson attack in Coventry
A man has today (25 February) pleaded guilty to manslaughter after a man was killed in a Coventry blaze last year.
Richard Newing set fire to Malcolm Turner’s mobility scooter at his home on Jenner Street in the early hours of Tuesday 20 August. The blaze quickly took hold, filling the property with smoke, with the force of the flames blowing out the windows.
Mr Turner, who was heavily reliant on his scooter, was unable to leave the building as the fire was started at the only exit of his home.
Newing, aged 43, then walked away, leaving the house in flames and 69-year-old Malcolm for dead. Fire crews were quick to attend, however due to the ferocity of the blaze, Malcolm sadly died at the scene.
Newing, who was also charged with arson with intent to danger life, was caught on CCTV only moments later on Foleshill Road, where he was captured igniting a mattress on the front drive of a house. The property instantly lit up in flames, but fortunately the occupants were able to escape via a back exit.
Detectives investigating Malcolm’s death and the subsequent arson attack, conducted a CCTV trawl of the area tracing Newing’s movements during both attacks. He was arrested two days later after officers spotted him in Coventry city centre.
Although the motive to the attacks is still unclear, during police interview Newing confessed to knowing Malcolm, after drinking at the same pub as him prior to the attack.
Today at Leamington Justice Centre, Newing, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered and will be sentenced on Friday 3 April.
In a victim impact statement, Malcolm’s sister said: “Malcolm was our brother, and our lives have changed forever, due to your actions.
“We had the privilege of him being a much-loved son, brother, uncle, husband and father before he was so senselessly and cruelly taken from us and there will always be an emptiness inside of us due to his death at the hands of you, Richard Newing.
“We, as a family, truly hope that each day you are locked up, you think of our brother and what you did, and that you see our brother’s face each time you light a match or see a flame and realise the pain and heartbreak that you have caused us.
“We can at least have the knowledge that whilst you are locked away, and I hope that is for a very long time, that you cannot put any other family through what you have put us through, and that this haunts until the end of your days."
Detective Chief Inspector Jim Munro said: “I am very pleased that Newing has recognised what he has done and saved Malcolm’s family the trauma of a full trial.
“Newing was clearly obsessed with fire and tragically the consequences of his actions led to Malcolm’s death.
“Although the residents of Foleshill Road were fortunate enough to survive the fire, their home and belongings were destroyed, so I hope they also find some comfort knowing Newing will now face time in prison.
“I hope this case outlines the seriousness of starting fires and how quickly they can spread and devastate lives."