Man who went on two week arsonist spree causing thousands of pounds of damage jailed

Scott admitted eight offences when he appeared in the dock from custody at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
Scott admitted eight offences when he appeared in the dock from custody at Edinburgh Sheriff Court
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An arsonist who caused thousands of pounds of damage after setting fire to bins and cars throughout Edinburgh has been jailed.

Richard Scott, 30, set several motors ablaze in the capital’s city centre over a two week vandalism spree earlier this year.

During the “very concerning” arson campaign Scott also set fire to bins near to a mains gas pipe outside a block of student flats.

Scott, c/o HMP Edinburgh, also damaged a valuable stain glass window at a listed building in the capital after setting fire to two wheelie bins.

The vandal was found to have caused a total of £8844 worth of damage to vehicles, buckets and the stain glass window during his spree.

Scott admitted eight offences when he appeared in the dock from custody at Edinburgh Sheriff Court last month and he returned last Thursday for sentencing.

Sheriff Michael O’Grady QC said the fire attacks were “very concerning” and sentenced Scott to an 18-month custodial sentence backdated to February 4.

Not guilty pleas to a further six similar allegations were accepted by the Crown prior to the case calling in court.

Previously prosecutor Sophie Hanlon told the court the more serious fire-raising attacks took place at a block of student flats at the city’s Cowgate and at a business premises on King Stables Road.

Ms Hanlon said: “On January 3 at the Cowgate damage to a bin was reported to the police and an officer viewed CCTV footage which showed the accused at around 9.30pm entering a courtyard at the locus.

“He approached a bin, set fire to it and walked away. He was identified by the officer.

“The fire was started close to a wall and directly beneath a mains gas pipe. The rear courtyard relates to student accommodation.”

The fiscal added a further attack took place at the Whitespace Creative Agency which has its office within St Cuthbert’s Graveyard in the capital’s city centre.

Ms Hanlon said: “Around 1am on January 4 police attended and noticed damage to bins and the fabric of the building.

“CCTV again identified the accused. He bent down and set alight more rubbish on the ground.

“He set a third set of rubbish alight and caused damage to a listed building as well as damage to wheelie bins.

“The total cost was £390 for the bins and £2814 for damage to a stain glass window on the listed building.”

The fiscal also said Scott set an Audi car on fire at Heriot Bridge on January 11 this year causing £2000 with the car having to be written off.

A second vehicle was also written off after Scott set a van on fire at the city’s Gilmour’s Close two days later.

Scott pleaded guilty to setting a series of fires and causing damage at Rose Street North Lane, Cowgate, King Stables Road, Heriot Bridge and Gilmour’s Close, all Edinburgh, between January 1 and 13 this year.