'Fire obsessed' man jailed for killing pensioner in Coventry arson

image copyrightWest Midlands Police
image captionOfficers said that Richard Newing's motive was still unclear

An arsonist who killed a man by starting a fire outside his front door, trapping him inside, has been jailed.

Malcolm Turner, 69, died from the effects of smoke inhalation after 44-year-old Richard Newing set fire to his mobility scooter in Coventry.

The blaze, on 20 August 2019, spread to Mr Turner's home on Jenner Street.

"Fire-obsessed" Newing was sentenced to 18 and a half years in prison on Friday at Warwick Crown Court after admitting manslaughter at an earlier hearing.

image copyrightFamily handout
image captionMr Turner succumbed to the effects of the smoke, police said

West Midlands Police said Newing's motive for the fatal attack remained unknown, however he knew Mr Turner from a local pub.

Mr Turner was heavily reliant on his mobility scooter and was unable to escape his maisonette when the front door was engulfed in flames.

image copyrightWest Midlands Police
image captionThe blaze trapped Mr Turner inside his home

Detectives were able to link the fire to a second, on Foleshill Road, where a mattress was torched, quickly lighting up the house.

Its three occupants were able to escape unharmed out the back and CCTV in the area was able to link Newing, of no fixed address, to the crime.

He was arrested two days later in Coventry city centre, still carrying the lighter used to start the fires, police said.

"Newing was clearly obsessed with fire and tragically the consequences of his actions led to Malcolm's death," Det Insp Jim Munro, from West Midlands Police, said.

Mr Turner's family issued a statement in which they described him as "a much-loved son, brother, uncle, husband and father" who was "so senselessly and cruelly taken from us".

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