Man walked to police station after setting flat on fire

Fire raiser told police he intended to 'burn the whole close down'.

Man walked to police station after setting flat on fire Getty Images

A fire raiser confessed to police just 30 minutes after setting his tenement flat alight.

Robert Algeo, 52, told officers: “I’ve just set my flat on fire. It was my intention to burn the whole close down.”

At the High Court in Glasgow on Monday, Algeo admitted wilfully setting fire to his first-floor flat in Middleton Street, Glasgow, on August 12, last year, to the danger of the neighbouring residents.

The court heard that he set fire to a wardrobe, a cardboard box containing clothing and a cardboard box inside another wardrobe.

He then locked up the flat and walked to Govan police station which was 30 minutes away and said: “I want to hand myself in.”

Prosecutor Michael Meehan said: “The accused was interviewed and admitted setting the fires to inconvenience the neighbours.”

The court heard that all the flats were evacuated by the fire brigade and one man had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The total damage caused by the blaze was estimated at £34,000.

Defence counsel Sarah Livingstone, representing Algeo, said: “His position is that a perfect storm had come.

“There was a minor incident involving a neighbour and it was the straw that broke the camel’s back.

“He had lost his job due to lockdown. He had wanted to move, but losing his job meant that was not possible.

“His position is that he tried to damage his own flat. He was in a daze.

“He says it is possible he told police he had wanted to burn down the tenement, but that was not his intention.”

Lord Arthurson deferred sentence on Algeo, who is in custody, until next month for background reports.

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