Houghton Regis arson grandfather jailed

A man who set fire to a house in Bedfordshire in which he knew his own granddaughter was sleeping has been jailed for 10 years.

Krzysztof Jurczykowski, 55, was angry the child had been removed from his daughter's care and was living with the child's father, her ex-partner.

He set fire to the house in Vanburgh Drive, Houghton Regis in May.

Jurczykowski was found guilty at Luton Crown Court in October of arson with intent to endanger life.

The court heard that Jurczykowski, of Newcombe Road, Luton, set the front door of the house alight with a flammable liquid in the early hours of 20 May 2013.

As the flames took hold, the father woke up and was able to grab the little girl and escape from the house.

'Enraged'

Passing sentence, Judge David Farrell QC told Jurczykowski he had shown no remorse for what he had done.

He said: "It was a crime committed by you because you were enraged by the fact that your daughter's ex partner had custody of the little girl. Your daughter had had custody taken from her because of problems she suffered.

"It's a disturbing aspect of the case that such was your rage that you were prepared to put your granddaughter's life at risk."

The court heard that the door Jurczykowski set fire to opened onto the living room with a staircase leading upstairs to the bedrooms, where the father and daughter were asleep.

Difficulty sleeping

Robert Forest prosecuting said the fire destroyed all of their belongings.

He said even now were unable to return to their home and still had difficulty sleeping because of what had happened that night.

Jurczykowski was arrested after student Mohammed Shazad spotted him as he was passing by at the time of the fire and was able to identify him.

His movements had also been caught on CCTV installed at a neighbouring house.

Judge Farrell ordered that Mr Shazad should receive an award of £250 from public funds.

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