An arsonist who was present at the Manchester arena bombing said he “couldn’t cope” with the fireworks set off following Liverpool’s premiership title win.
A court heard how Matthew Kilty suffered from PTSD after the bombing and was subsequently hospitalised when fireworks “erupted” across Merseyside to celebrate the club’s win.
The 23-year-old admitted setting his mother’s home alight and “leaving it to burn”.
Kilty, of Eastcroft Road, Wallasey, was today sentenced at Liverpool Crown Court for arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered, possession of a bladed article and possession of cannabis.
Simon Hopkins, prosecuting, explained that Kilty set his mum’s home on fire on August 3 this year and his uncle rushed in as he thought the arsonist was inside.
Mr Hopkins explained it was around 6.20pm when Kilty’s mother returned to her home with her brother when they heard a smoke alarm.
Mr Hopkins said: “Hearing a smoke alarm and opening the front door there was black smoke everywhere. They shouted for [Kilty] but he wasn’t there.”
The fire service was then called and they later found a bottle of accelerant, Mr Hopkins said.
He explained that in police interview the 23-year-old admitted responsibility and told officers that he was present at the Manchester bombing, explaining the effect that, along with a recent break up, had had on his mental health.
While on bail for the offence of arson, Kilty was arrested for possession of a bladed article and possession of a knife, which he was also sentenced for today.
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The court heard Kilty has no previous convictions.
John Weate, defending, told the court Kilty was hospitalised “at a time when Liverpool Football Club won the Premiership title and the whole of Merseyside erupted with fireworks and he couldn’t cope with that.”
Mr Weate said: “He has worked in the industry of events and arena management.
“He suffered as many did by being present at the Manchester bombing. It’s something he has to live with for the rest of his life.”
Following the bombing, Mr Weate explained, Kilty received counselling and more recently Kitly was left “unable to cope” following the break up of a relationship.
The court also heard Kilty was drunk at the time he set his mother’s home alight.
He said Kilty has shown “remorse through his pleas” and told the court Kilty suffers from depression and is “unable to deal with emotional issues”.
He said: “Perhaps a period of custody is going to make his emotional situation worse rather than better as far as a short to medium term is concerned.”
Judge Gary Woodhall, sentencing, said: “You ignited a fire in that home before leaving the house and leaving it to burn.”
Judge Woodhall said it was a “matter of luck” his uncle saw it.