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An arsonist set fire to the home of an 89-year-old woman in Sheffield as she slept inside UK News

Robert Ashford lit a fire at the front door of the victim’s home on Thompson Hill in High Green shortly after midnight on March 24 of this year.

Neighbors rushed to the property after the fire broke out, bravely entering the house and carrying the woman, named only Annie, to safety through an open window.

She was taken to hospital where she was treated for minor injuries.

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Robert ashford

The blaze was one of several fires started by Ashford, 37, in the High Green area that night.

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He started his party by setting fire to some trash cans in Cottam Road around 8:40 p.m., before heading to Foster Way and Potters Gate to do the same.

After lighting the fire at the woman’s home with neighboring properties to be evacuated, he returned to Foster Way and set fire to another trash can.

Father and son Martin and Matthew Goudge, who rushed to Annie’s rescue, were commended by police for their bravery

Officers searching the area spotted him acting suspiciously and recklessly arrested him on suspicion of arson to see if his life was in danger.

Ashford, of Sunny Bank, High Green, also admitted seven counts of arson and was sentenced by Sheffield Crown Court last Friday, August 27, to 40 months in jail.

PC Jo Clay, the investigating officer, said: “This was a reckless and extremely distressing incident which had a devastating impact on the victim, who was targeted in his own home.

“In the end, Ashford’s actions could have resulted in loss of life. Fortunately this is not the case and now he is behind bars and no longer poses a risk to the community.

“At the heart of this terrible case is a fantastic display of bravery by several members of the public, who rushed to help the victim, Annie.

“Father and son Martin and Matthew Goudge who live nearby spotted the incident and rushed to help Annie – putting their own safety at risk to make sure she was okay. They managed to enter the property and took her to safety through an open window.

“Had it not been for their quick wit and courage, this incident could have had a truly tragic outcome. It is right that we as a force recognize their actions with a commendation, well done to both of you. “

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This notice was published: 2021-09-04 06:30:00

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