Highlands & Islands

Former Strontian firefighter jailed for starting fires

A long-serving retained firefighter has been jailed for two years for starting two wildfires in the west Highlands last year.

David Mackay, 40, who had served with the Strontian fire unit, was found guilty of two charges of wilful fire raising at Fort William Sheriff Court.

He denied starting the fires on 27 March and 1 April 2013.

The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service said it noted the sentence and added that such cases were "extremely rare".

Mackay, who was found guilty last month, had served with the fire service for more than 20 years.

Following disciplinary procedures, he has been dismissed from the fire service.

Scottish Fire and Rescue Service's head of service delivery in the north, Assistant Chief Officer Robert Scott, said the organisation did not accept "such reckless and dangerous actions".

He said: "Our retained firefighters do an excellent job protecting our communities and cases such as this are extremely rare, if not unprecedented.

"Mr Mackay will no doubt now realise the severity of the situation he finds himself in.

"He has let himself, the service and his colleagues down."

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