‘My children could have been killed’: Residents angered after arsonist jailed for six years for torching flat and killing dogs

NEIGHBOURS have reacted with anger to the length of Susan Thwaites’ sentence with one resident claiming her children ‘could have been killed’.

Thwaites has been jailed for six years for torching her council flat and killing her two dogs because she was due to be evicted.

Her two Jack Russells died hiding under her bed as a roaring blaze tore through her first-floor home in Kenwood Road, Portchester on July 24, 2017.

Following the sentencing The News spoke to residents about the length of the sentence given out by the court.

(L-R) Michael Duke, Angela Hurst and Zoe Carter. Zoe was living below Ms Thwaites flat at the time of the fire.

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Portchester arsonist jailed for six years after torching her council flat

Zoe Carter, 24, lived in the flat directly below Susan Thwaites at the time of the fire and was forced to move into temporary accommodation due to the damage caused to her home.

‘My two children were three and four at the time and her actions could have put their lives in danger. Six years is not long enough for what she has put everyone through. Fortunately we were out but her actions could have killed me and my children,’ said Zoe.

Cousin, Michael Duke, aged 32, added: ‘While all this was going on Zoe was grieving after a family bereavement. I think the sentence is disgusting – some people get more time for robbery. She put peoples lives in danger.’

Susan Thwaites. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Caitlin Tomlinson, 30, and her mother, Angela Tomlinson, 49, lived next door to Ms Thwaites at the time of the fire and they are now living in her renovated flat.

Angela said: ‘She had caused previous problems on the street and I believe what she planned to do that day was pre-meditated. I think she should have got at least 10 years.’

Caitlin added: ‘Susan’s actions showed she didn’t care about anyone but herself and she certainly didn’t consider the consequences for Zoe who was living downstairs. Six years for what she did is not enough.’

Caitlin Tomlinson (right) and mother, Angela Tomlinson, lived next door to Susan Thwaites at the time of the fire.