Shropshire

Shropshire firefighter David Pearson jailed for blaze plot

David Pearson Image copyright West Mercia Police handout
Image caption A judge said David Pearson abused the trust of being a firefighter

A firefighter has been jailed for plotting a series of blazes.

David Pearson, 32, a retained firefighter from Shropshire, was sentenced to five years and four months after admitting conspiracy to damage or destroy property.

The charges relate to a series of fires in the county in 2014.

A colleague, Kingsley Tolley, 36, from Albrighton, was jointly charged, but was found dead shortly before an earlier court appearance.

Judge Robin Onions said the reputation of Shropshire Fire and Rescue Service should not be tarnished by the actions of two rogue firefighters.

Financial gain

He said he believed there was an element of excitement for the two men, adding that Pearson, of Station Road, Pontesbury, gained financially from the fires because retained firefighters receive a call-out fee.

Five fires were started, three near occupied houses, the judge said.

Prosecutors accepted that Mr Tolley was the ringleader and the fire-setter, the judge said.

He said Pearson, who was based at Minsterley fire station, abused the trust of being a firefighter and gave little or no thought to the dangers.

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