Woman set fire to her room in care home

The Trafalgar pub in Gosport 
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Man who burgled Gosport pub is jailed for three years

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A WOMAN who set fire to a care home will be kept in a mental hospital until she is deemed safe to be released.

Virginia Sherratt caused £9,000 worth of damage after starting the fire in her room at Cressage House care home in St Edward’s Road, Southsea, which provides care for people with mental and physical disabilities.

Portsmouth Crown Court heard the 65-year-old was being treated for schizophrenia and had not taken her medication before the blaze.

The building was evacuated at the time and no-one was hurt.

Prosecutor David Jenkins said: ‘Fortunately the fire service arrived very quickly and people were evacuated.’

Sherratt, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to arson following the fire in February this year.

Judge Sarah Munro QC she had read two psychiatric reports and was satisfied that a hospital order was the best way to deal with the case.

It means Sherratt will stay in a mental health unit until the secretary of state rules she can be discharged.

The judge said: ‘I am quite satisfied that the provisions of section 37 of the Mental Health Act are satisfied in this case.’