Bloke set fire to house with 4 kids asleep inside then came back to rescue one

A man in Birmingham set fire to a house while four children were sleeping inside, having been left home alone for the night.

Mickel Munn torched the property then called a neighbour and rescued one of the children himself.

The four children awoke to find the house in darkness, surrounded by smoke. They began to cry and cough while one of them screamed for help, BirminghamLive reports.

No one knows Munn's motives, as he claims he cannot remember the incident, which happened in 2020.

Munn accepted all the evidence put against him and pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

The 38-year-old from Stechford was sentenced to five years and six months at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday February 28.

Prosecutor Kevin Hegarty stated one of her four children was stopping at a relative's address, but another was having a sleepover meaning there were still four children at the property at the time. He added they all fell asleep in the mother's bedroom at the back.

Mr Hegarty said Munn knew the woman was 'in the habit of leaving the children home alone and sometimes overnight', adding he was also aware of where she kept the front door key.

Mr Hegarty said Munn left in the direction of his car but returned around two minutes later, by which time 'the fire had developed significantly' and smoke was 'billowing from the house'. He told the court the defendant emerged from the burning home again and then went to a neighbour across the road and said: 'There's a fire, are the kids in there?'.

Mr Hegarty said: "The children were oblivious to the fire on the ground floor. They were not disturbed by Mr Munn on entry or exit. The eldest woke up coughing and could hear the other children coughing.

"At first they thought it was a dream. They soon realised it was a serious matter. They got off the bed and tried to switch the light on but the electrics had faltered. The children were in the dark surrounded by smoke."

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He continued, saying they were crying while one of them rang their mother 'screaming' before they opened the bedroom window which looked out onto a pitched roof of a one-storey extension building.

Mr Hegarty stated by this time Munn and the neighbour were outside and despite being 'scared' three of the children jumped from the roof to the ground.

Firefighters arrived moments later to see that Munn was at the window with the fourth and youngest child, who he handed out to safety. One fireman observed the defendant was 'extremely calm and relaxed' the court heard.

Munn was arrested at his home later that morning and initially denied starting the fire, despite being shown the CCTV footage.

He told the court at the time Munn was significantly depressed with his own 'substandard' living accommodation which had issues with mould and caused him a lung infection.

Judge Samantha Crabb, passing sentence, stated the children would have felt 'terror' at waking in the dark surrounded by smoke and said: "The fact is you set fire to a house in the middle of the night while children slept alone in bed.

"The risk of serious harm frankly could not be much higher. It is pure good fortune the children were not seriously harmed or worse."

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