A MAN from Stonehouse who threw a hot toaster stuffed full of paper against a wall setting his flat on fire has been remanded to a mental health facility.

Glen Kerrigan, aged 65, was ordered to be detained at a psychiatric hospital in Cheltenham during a hearing at Gloucester Crown Court on Friday, March 23. 

The prosecutor, Kate Lewis, told the court that on July 14, last year, Kerrigan was at his home in Sherborne Close, Stonehouse, which is supported housing provided by Stroud District Council.

Ms Lewis said: “Kerrigan lived alone and at around 11.40pm Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service were called to his flat and having extinguished the small blaze, the police were called. 

“It was felt that the fire had been a deliberate arson attempt as there was no natural source of ignition.

“The police found Kerrigan outside the property and recovered the toaster which had been stuffed with paper and thrown against the wall and had severely scorched it, causing the fire alarms to go off.

“After Kerrigan had been arrested by police, he told the officers ‘If I get out of here tonight I am going back to blow the whole building up’, he then gave a no comment interview.”

Kerrigan appeared at court by video link from the psychiatric hospital, assisted by two medical practitioners, who had recently examined him under mental health legislation connected with the judicial process.

Jack Borras for Kerrigan, said that his client had been remanded in custody since this offence. 

He stated that during this period Kerrigan has since been transferred to a psychiatric hospital because his mental health has deteriorated 

Mr Borras added: “Under these circumstances, I feel the only option available is a hospital order without restrictions.”

Kerrigan pleaded guilty to a simple arson charge in Stonehouse on July 14, 2023.

Judge Rupert Lowe told Kerrigan that he has 22 previous convictions at a relatively low level of seriousness that includes criminal damage, but nothing for arson.

The judge said: “These proceedings have taken a considerable amount of time to get to this stage, during which, you’ve been remanded in custody and transferred to a psychiatric unit. Acts of arson are always concerning because of the potential consequences.

“And following your arrest you made concerning references that you would go back and ‘blow the whole building up’ which gives some indication of your frame of mind at that time.

“This court is extremely grateful to a number of psychiatrists who have provided reports on you and have concluded that a Section 37 Hospital Order of the Mental Health Act is the most appropriate sentence as this will allow the psychiatric unit to monitor you until those dealing with you feel it is safe for you to be released into the community.

“I am satisfied that this is the correct way to dispose of this case. I have not been asked for a restriction order to be applied. 

“Therefore a section 37 order will be imposed, which will enable you to receive the treatment you need until such time it is deemed safe and appropriate to release you from the hospital.

“This brings to an end these criminal proceedings. 

“I would like to thank you for attending today along with the medical staff assisting you for these proceedings.”