A serial fireraiser has been jailed for 12 years for attempting to murder six people – including a mother and her two children.
Philip Swarbrick burned down the door of their flat in Aberdeen just months after being released from jail for another violent offence.
He also barricaded the door of a neighbouring property in the North Anderson Drive block on January 26.
During the rampage he poured flammable liquid through the letterbox and then lit it.
The 42-year-old attached wooden posts and metal wire to the door of an adjacent flat, trapping the occupants as the fire raged.
The High Court in Aberdeen heard the blaze was reported around 2am but was put out by residents before the emergency services arrived.
A joint minute agreed by advocate depute Stewart Ronnie, prosecuting, and Swarbrick’s legal team stated that three fuel cans had been found in a vehicle registered to him during a search the day of the fire.
Yesterday he was found guilty by a majority verdict after a trial before judge Lord Burns.
The court heard that Swarbrick, whose address was given in court papers as HMP Grampian, had a “varied history of offending”.
The married man was jailed for five years in August 2011 after admitting repeatedly punching another man on the head and body “to his severe injury, permanent disfigurement and danger of his life” in a road rage incident in Aberdeen’s Ann Street in November 2010.
Swarbrick also has two previous convictions for wilful fireraising.
He was released from prison in May 2015 – just seven months before the attempted murder.
Lord Burns told him: “You have been found guilty of a very serious wilful fireraising which risked not just the intended victims’ lives but the others in the block too.”