A 47 year old Nailsworth man who set fire to his own bed was jailed for two years last week after a judge heard that he has flouted the chance of a suspended sentence.

Andrew Deverson, of Forest Green, caused £1,500 damage when he lit the fire in his bed on May 9 last year, Gloucester crown court was told last Monday.

In June, a judge sentenced him to two years in jail, suspended for two years and placed him on a six months alcohol treatment order with a requirement to attend twenty rehabilitation activity sessions.

But last week Deverson was back in court for breaching the terms of his suspended sentence order.

Additionally during the run up to the court appearance in June Deverson failed to attend court hearings and appointments for reports that led to him being remanded in custody.

Despite that, however, Judge Lawrie ruled on 8th June that an immediate custodial sentence would 'exacerbate' Deverson's difficulties and that a week he spent on remand in custody had been a 'clear lesson' to him.

Deverson outside Gloucester crown court prior to sentencing

Deverson assured the judge at that time "I will do exactly what probation ask me to do. I don't need mental health help. I need a psychologist and a physio."

Giving him the chance of liberty the judge told him then : "You must confront your own demons. It will not be easy. I will stand at your shoulder to make sure you do."

However, the judge heard from the probation service that Deverson had not attended appointments regularly and they felt they could not manage the risks he posed in the community.

“I took a quantum leap into the dark,” the judge admitted. “I took considerable criticism from all sorts of quarters. It has not worked.”

Deverson called out from the dock: “It has Your Honour!” but was told to be quiet by the judge.

Throughout the rest of the hearing Deverson kept interjecting, and saying he disagreed with what was said about him.

His defence lawyer, Steven Young, explained: “He does not accept much of the breach report and for what he does accept, he offers excuses.

“It looks like he does not want to comply, but he says he does now.”

The judge said: “The court gave him an order to extend help.

“Arson almost inevitably attracts custody. I stepped back from it on a number of levels, mostly because I viewed him as a broken human being.”

The court heard that probation staff had even tried to visit Deverson at his home, but 'that hadn't worked'.

As the judge tried to tell Deverson he was activating the suspended prison sentence, Deverson kept interrupting.

“I passed an order designed to help you,” the judge told him.

“It has helped me...” he said.

“You have not done what...” the judge tried to continue.

“I have...” Deverson called out again.

“No you have not,” the judge said firmly. “You have not made the requisite effort.

“There comes a point where having taken the opportunity, we do not expect a clean break, but we expect an effort.

“I am afraid this order has run it's course.

“I am going to activate the sentence I have suspended. There is little point in persevering.

“You will go in to custody for two years.”