Kent

Men sentenced over arson attack on Maidstone property

The damaged house
Image caption A man and a woman in the first-floor flat suffered severe smoke inhalation

Two men have each been sentenced to three and a half years in jail for starting a fire at a property in Kent that left a couple in hospital.

A man and a woman, both in their 60s, suffered severe smoke inhalation.

Terry Payne, 18, and Stephen Whiting, 19, pleaded guilty to committing arson recklessly following the fire in Durham Close, Maidstone, on 1 May.

The judge at Maidstone Crown Court said a charge of arson with intent to endanger life should lie on file.

Jurors heard that Payne, previously of Brishing Lane, Maidstone, and Whiting, of the Cockpits in Marden, set fire to the first-floor flat by pouring petrol on the doorstep in the early hours and then ran off as the doorway and hallway caught light.

Kent Fire and Rescue said following the incident, Red Watch Maidstone were awarded a certificate of congratulation for the rescue of the couple.

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