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Arsonist who swaggered around his neighbourhood singing ‘Burn baby, burn, disco inferno’ after torching house while family of four slept inside is jailed for ten years
- Man torched neighbours’ home because they had sons with learning difficulties
- Issac Brooks, 42, squirted petrol through a tumble dryer vent before igniting it
- The family thought blaze was started by dryer but found their CCTV wire was cut
- Brooks was convicted of arson with intent to endanger and criminal damage
- He has today been sentenced to ten years in prison at Bolton Crown Court
Isaac Brooks, 42, targeted neighbours in a seven-year hate campaign simply because their two children have learning difficulties
A man who set a home ablaze while a family slept inside and later sung ‘Burn baby, burn’ has been jailed for ten years today.
Isaac Brooks, 42, targeted neighbour David Beaver and his wife Beverley in a seven-year hate campaign simply because their two children have learning difficulties.
All four were in bed at 1.40am when Brooks crept up to the kitchen and squirted petrol through a tumble dryer vent before igniting it.
Mr Beaver, who is in his 50s, was woken by the noise and initially thought he was being burgled only to find thick smoke billowing through huis property.
He miraculously managed to usher his wife, their adult sons Christopher, 27, and Adam, 25, and their family’s labrador dog Marley out of the house before they were overcome by the fumes.
At first the blaze in Farnworth, near Bolton, Greater Manchester was blamed on the couple’s tumble dryer being faulty but CCTV captured Brooks clambering over a fence in their back garden and pouring accelerant into the vent.
It emerged he had verbally abused Mr Beaver on a weekly basis shouting: ‘You f..king inbreds, I’m going to burn the lot of you’ from his bedroom window.
‘Three days after the fire he was seen roaming the streets by another neighbour singing the lyrics from the 1976 disco hit by the Trammps plus the Tina Turner hit ‘Simply the best.’
David Beaver and his wife Beverley are pictured above. The court heard the family went to bed at 10.30pm but at 1.40am Mr Beaver was woken by a loud bang and the electricity tripped. He then heard a ‘rustling’ noise in the kitchen, fearing burglars, he went downstairs to investigate
The cost of damage was estimated at £30,000 and the family had to move out for three months while repairs were carried out.
At Bolton Crown Court, Brooks was convicted of arson with intent to endanger and criminal damage after a trial.
After the hearing Mrs Beaver, a hospital switchboard operator said: ‘He should have been given life in jail after what he did to us. We could have died in that fire. He has got what he deserved and we can rebuild our lives now. But it’s been horrible for our two boys.
‘That night he came out when we were all outside the house as bold as brass thinking he had got away with it. he was looking at us and the fire and was getting a complete buzz out of it. That night was terrifying and it still is – I still have nightmares now. I’m just glad he has been found guilty.. He’s terrorised everybody for years.’
Another neighbour, Paul Kerrigan said: ‘My kids have been frightened to death of him – they have not wanted to go and play out. Since he has been locked up on remand the street has totally changed. Everyone’s kids are playing out and it’s more family orientated now, whereas before everybody was hiding.’
At first the blaze in Farnworth, near Bolton, Greater Manchester was blamed on the couple’s tumble dryer being faulty but CCTV captured Brooks clambering over a fence in their back garden and pouring accelerant into the vent
The blaze on February 11 this year was climax of a vicious campaign by Brooks against against Mr Beaver and his family who lived opposite his home.
Wayne Jackson prosecuting said: ‘Both the couple’s children have learning difficulties which is relevant to this case. Brooks would be a seen a number of times each week by Mr Beaver and would shout random things from his address with one of his favourites being: ‘you f..king inbreds. I’m going to burn the lot of you’. He shouted that at him on the evening of the blaze itself.’
The court heard the family went to bed at 10.30pm but at 1.40am Mr Beaver was woken by a loud bang and the electricity tripped. He then heard a ‘rustling’ noise in the kitchen, fearing burglars, he went downstairs to investigate.
‘I opened the living room door and I just could not get in. It was so hot and it was just black smoke and I couldn’t see anything,’ said Mr Beaver who works for a cargo and freight company.
‘I ran upstairs to lead my sons to safety before going back for my wife and Marley. You couldn’t see a thing and Bev is lucky to be alive. She had taken sleeping tablets and was still in bed.’
‘We lost everything – the whole house, you wouldn’t believe it. The only thing that survived was a marble table.’
The family was initially told that the fire had started in their two-week-old tumble dryer in the kitchen, but four days later Mrs Kelly noticed that the house’s CCTV wires had been cut.
When Mr Beaver checked the system’s hard drive the next day with the insurance company’s forensic investigator they saw Brooks pouring a liquid into the tumble dryer vent and onto the decking.
During a search of Brooks’ flat, investigators found a washing up liquid bottle at the entrance to the bathroom and it contained petrol.
A beige Crag Hooper jacket was also recovered which had melted fibres on the cuffs and a green camouflage jacket also had melted fibres.
The family was initially told that the fire had started in their two-week-old tumble dryer in the kitchen, but four days later Mrs Kelly noticed that the house’s CCTV wires had been cut
Brooks later claimed the petrol was for his lawnmower and laughed when police quizzed him about the fire. He denied arson.
Defence lawyer Kevin Liston told the hearing: ‘He has misused drugs since he was 10 years of age. In the face of it potentially been triggered into such action by the misuse of these substances.’
But Judge Martin Walsh told Brooks: ‘This was a serious arson attack upon an entirely innocent family who were sleeping in their home in the early hours. You climbed over the rear fence of the premises, you poured an accelerant through a tumble dryer vent and ignited it.
‘In addition to damage in the region of £30,000 the family had to move away from the property for three months.
‘This was a deliberate and targeted attack on the family, during the period leading up to the attack you had shouted abusive comments at the family directed towards the two children of the family because of their learning difficulties. It was a premeditated attack with a significant degree of planning. I’m satisfied you pose a significant risk of serious harm to the public. This was as close as you get to an attempted murder.’
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