Bognor teenager who ‘set fire to sock’ convicted for flat arson

Fire and rescue news
Fire and rescue news

A teenager who set fire to a house in Bognor Regis has been convicted of arson with intent to endanger life, Sussex Police have confirmed.

In a statement, it said: “Police arrested two youths in connection with the offence, which occurred at a flat in Aldwick Road overnight between 10 November and 11 November last year.

“Michael Bissett, 18, of Lyon Street, Bognor Regis, was found guilty following a trial at Portsmouth Crown Court today (September 5).”

It added that the court had heard how the then 17-year-old, and another teenage boy, entered the first floor flat before Bissett set fire to a sock.

Police stated: “The lounge became engulfed in flames and fortunately, the sole occupant woke up around 20 minutes later.”

The occupant was trapped on the first floor and escaped byt jumping, bare foot, onto the pavement below.

He then managed to rouse his neighbour on the second floor by shouting and ringing the intercom.

The neighbour held his breath and descended the stairs to make his escape.

The statement said: “The two men sustained minor injuries.”

Staff at a nearby care home then reportedly alerted firefighters, who quickly attended the scene to deal with the blaze.

Bissett was arrested on November 12 after ‘intelligence linked him to the scene’.

He has been remanded in custody ahead of sentencing on 24 October, Sussex Police said.

The 16-year-old co-defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was acquitted of arson with intent to endanger life.