|Burning match illustration|
A man was arrested, charged and convicted of arson after burning down his own home because he was lonely, prosecutors in the United Kingdom said.
Now, the depressed man with suicidal thoughts, has been sentenced to serve 18 months in prison.
49-year-old Mark Thomas told investigators that he felt lonely and saw no point in living.
He went on a three day drinking binge and started a fire in his house in Vimy Road, Linslade, which caused damage to two adjoining houses.
A Judge at the Luton Crown Court said that although he had sympathy for Thomas, he had to impose an immediate jail sentence.
"What you did was extremely dangerous and could have led to injury or even loss of life. The least possible sentence I can pass is one of 18 months imprisonment and I do hope you see this as an act of leniency," the judge said.
The fire destroyed two adjoining houses. He was not in the house, but was seen nearby. However, his neighbors were in their homes, and although no one was injured it was an upsetting scene, police said.
Thomas admitted to starting the fire in order to kill himself because he felt lonely and saw no point in living. Thomas pleaded guilty to one charge of arson.