Depressed man set fire to Portsmouth flat in a suicide bid

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A SUICIDAL man set fire to his flat in a drink and drug induced bid to end his life, a court heard.

Depressed Hakki Dagdelen downed a cocktail of aspirin and cider before starting a fire in his bed and another on his sofa.

The 31-year-old – who was battling spiralling debt and facing eviction – then left his home in Forbes Terrace, Buckland, Portsmouth, a judge was told.

Moments later he realised the potentially disastrous consequences of his actions.

Dagdelen knocked on a neighbour’s door and said that he had set fire to his flat.

The neighbour dialled 999 and alerted the other residents, warning them to get out. Luckily no-one was hurt.

Adrian Fleming, defending at Portsmouth Crown Court, said: ‘Mr Dagdelen has no history of any criminal activity, let alone anything of this magnitude.

‘He was clearly very upset and had been on a downward spiral for some time.

‘The depressive illness which he suffers from, this is not something which is switched off and on overnight – it is something that builds up over a period of months.

‘Mr Dagdelen got to the age of 30 in a fairly good state.

‘He had been a hard working man, running various different businesses.

‘Over time, quite frankly his life had fallen apart and this combination of factors is something that is perhaps not surprising that it should result in the first episode in his life of depressive illness.’

Judge Sarah Munro QC, sentencing Dagdelen, said: ‘When you realised the danger that the fire might pose to your neighbour you went to wake up your neighbour.

‘He called the fire brigade and he also then went to wake up the other occupants of the block of flats and they were evacuated from the building and couldn’t return until 2am.

‘Very considerable damage was caused to the fabric and contents of the flat, causing the landlord has obviously been financially inconvenienced and concerned,’

Dagdelen – who has no previous convictions – admitted arson with intent to recklessly endanger life in relation to the fires, which were starting at about 12.30am on January 31.

He was sentenced to stay in a psychiatric hospital indefinitely.

Judge Munro added: ‘I’m quite satisfied that the most suitable way of dealing with you is by way of a hospital order under section 37 of the Mental Health Act 1983.

‘I’m satisfied that you suffer from mental disorder – namely depression.’