Published: 27/07/2017 16:56 - Updated: 27/07/2017 17:04

Blind teen set fire to Kincraig holiday cottage


David Wilson on his way to court
David Wilson on his way to court


A blind teenager set fire to his bedroom in supported accommodation near Kincraig causing over £10,000 worth of damage.

Nineteen year-old David Wilson was on bail at the time of the offence on March 30, earlier this year.

He was later sentenced at the High Court in Edinburgh to a term of three years and nine months for an assault with a knife leaving his victim disfigured and impaired.

He appeared from custody at Inverness Sheriff Court on Tuesday and admitted a charge of willful fire raising by setting curtains alight at Rhum Cottage, Meadowside House by Kincraig.

The court heard his bedroom and the cottage suffered extensive smoke damage.

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood was told Wilson was resident at the cottage having been placed there by the social work department.

Staff were in attendance on a one-to-one basis providing support.

He had no family support at the time and his mother was in prison.

Depute fiscal Roderick Urquhart said there were several other lodges in the area, some used by social work and some for private hire.

Wilson had his own room and

about 9am on March 30 a social care worker supporting him said his client appeared to be in a normal mood having had breakfast and spending time between the living room and his bedroom.

Fire alarms however went off about 11.30am and Wilson was seen leaving his room then the cottage. The fire was then spotted coming from his room.

Wilson told the staff member: "I’ve set the curtains on fire."

Wilson was taken to a reception area and the cottage was well ablaze when the fire brigade attended.

There was no-one else in the cottage at the time.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze and a lighter was recovered from the area next to where the fire appeared to have started.

The fiscal said no one was injured but following the fire the proprietor of Cairngorm Outdoors Ltd had finally paid £10,000 for repairs.

Calum Cox, defending, told the court Wilson’s mother was the co-accused in the case for which he was jailed by the High Court and that case was pending at the time of the incident near the Highland Wildlife Park.

The solicitor said: "He’s a vulnerable individual, registered blind with little eyesight. He also has mental health difficulties."

Mr Cox said Wilson’s father died when he was 12 and although alcohol played a part in his previous offending it had played no part in this incident.

"He accepts he not only put himself but others at risk. He is fortunate not to have sustained serious injury or even worse."

Mr Cox said Wilson’s insight into the offence was limited and he was assessed as being high risk.

Sheriff Gordon Fleetwood said he would restrict the sentence to one of six months consecutive to Wilson’s existing sentence.

That, said the Sheriff, would have the effect of when he comes to be released he would be released on licence and he would continue to be monitored.

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