Leigh Park arsonist jailed for drug-fuelled suicide bid

Teresa Frost
Teresa Frost
Canoe Lake

Picture: Shaun Roster

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A WOMAN who torched her home in a drug-fuelled suicide atempt has been jailed.

Teresa Frost, 47, set fire to bedding at her council-owned home in Middle Park Way, Leigh Park, resulting in damage that will cost more than £28,000 to repair.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard when her partner of the time went back into the terraced house to find her after fleeing the blaze, Frost was sitting on the stairs.

He got her out and she later told police: ‘I couldn’t take any more. I started the fire.’

Now Frost has been jailed for four years after being found guilty of arson. The court heard that Frost, who has convictions for 99 previous offences, has a history of drug and alcohol abuse.

Matthew Farmer, defending, also said she had been a victim of domestic abuse.

The court heard that on the night of the fire, on February 23, Frost and her partner had a row and she left the property.

Judge Sarah Munro QC, sentencing, said: ‘Whatever it [the argument] was about you left the house almost certainly not only to collect your methadone [a heroin substitute] but to score drugs and to obtain drink.’

Judge Munro QC said Frost returned home between about 11pm and midnight and by the early hours was in a ‘highly emotional state.’

She then started the fire. Her partner shouted to the neighbours to call the fire brigade and escaped out of a first floor window, but later went back into the house and dragged her out after going to look for her. Judge Munro QC, said: ‘Your neighbours, as you knew, included children and a baby next door and animals, all of whom were put at risk by this fire which was set in the early hours of the morning when all of them were asleep.’

Judge Munro accepted that Frost had no recollection of the fire.

She added: ‘This was a drug-fuelled suicide attempt rather that a fire set maliciously.

‘Nevertheless it is a very serious offence and one for which you must be punished.’

Det Con Roy Kimber said: ‘I do hope that Miss Frost gets the help she needs while in prison and that when she comes out she can become a happy and productive member of her community.’