Leeds & West Yorkshire

Huddersfield arsonist jailed for killing 74-year-old in fire

Julia Flynn Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Julia Flynn died 12 days after the arson attack on her home

A man who started a house fire that killed a 74-year-old woman has been jailed for 13-and-a-half years.

Tyler Flanagan, 20, from Dewsbury, lit a fire in Julia Flynn's back porch then fled the scene, leaving her "helpless" and inhaling smoke. She died days later.

A court heard he started several house fires in Huddersfield, last June.

Flanagan admitted manslaughter on the first day of his trial last December. He was found not guilty of murder.

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He also admitted starting fires at two other properties in Mirfield, and on a car during the same month, as well as an attempted burglary.

Image copyright West Yorkshire Police
Image caption Tyler Flanagan appeared at the Old Bailey via videolink from HMP Hull

The Old Bailey, where Flanagan appeared via videolink, heard he had been "roaming the streets looking for things to steal and cause damage" on 17 June.

He saw the "obviously occupied" home of Mrs Flynn, which had grab rails and shallow steps outside.

Mrs Flynn, the court heard, was too weak to go upstairs so slept on the ground floor.

Chloe Hudson, prosecuting, said Mrs Flynn was "pulled from her home and taken to hospital but never recovered from the effects of the fire and died some days later in hospital."

Flanagan went on to set fire to an outhouse at another property, but no-one was injured.

After that, he was caught on CCTV trying doors before stealing a car radio and damaging the vehicle with fire.

He admitted manslaughter, arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered, two counts of arson damaging property, attempted burglary, having a blade and criminal damage.

He was handed an extended sentence of 18 years and six months, comprising 13 years and six months in custody, which will begin in a young offenders institution.

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