Arsonist admits urinating on homeless man’s bedding and helping set fire to it

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ARSONIST Nicola King helped set fire to homeless man’s bedding and urinated on it.

King pleaded guilty to arson at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court earlier today following the incident in Commercial Road earlier this year.

Nicola King outside court. Picture: Malcolm Wells

Nicola King outside court. Picture: Malcolm Wells

The court heard King, 23, and a friend, Jerely Evans, approached Roy Ransom who was sleeping rough, at 7am on April 9.

Prosecutor Richard Withey said the pair ‘were nice’ and spoke to Mr Ransom, who was sleeping near the entrance to Argos.

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WATCH: Dramatic bodycam footage shows firefighters battle bedding fire in Commercial Road

The women were seen talking to the rough sleeper before he left

The women were seen talking to the rough sleeper before he left

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He said the women gave him £5 and he walked off to buy a drink.

Mr Withey said: ‘When he returned the atmosphere had changed and the girl he called Nicola was being somewhat rude to him.

‘As a result he left to join other homeless people round the corner.’

Police bodycam footage of the fire

Police bodycam footage of the fire

CCTV played in court showed Evans, who has previously admitted arson, trying for several minutes to set light to the bedding using a lighter, while King watched and held her friend’s bag.

The court heard King, of no fixed address, handed Evans a second lighter to start the fire, and urinated on the bedding.

The pair then walked off south down Commercial Road.

Mr Withey said police later approached Mr Ransom and was told his possessions had been set on fire.

A shop window was also damaged by the fire.

Defending, Ayisha Robertson, said the incident had a ‘very real impact on the victim.’

She asked magistrates to consider a community sentence in light of King’s decision to switch her plea to guilty.

She also said her client had a low IQ within the range of ‘a mild intellectual disability’ which often made her ‘compulsive’ and made it ‘difficult for her to understand consequences.’

Sentencing was adjourned until October 27 for a report to be produced by the probation service.

King was bailed on the condition that she does not go on Commercial Road.

Evans previously pleaded guilty to arson and was sentenced to four months in jail.