Mum torched home of ‘friends with benefits’ thinking he was with another woman

Newcastle Crown Court heard of how Keirra Levitt set fire to her lover’s house after he left to go and buy more alcohol, as she became convinced he was up to no good

Kierra Levitt, of Sunderland, who admitted arson

An enraged mum set fire to the home of her “friends with benefits” as she suspected he had gone to see another woman.

Keirra Levitt, 30, had been left alone in the man’s flat whilst he left to go and buy more alcohol, but she became convinced he was up to no good.

A courtroom heard of how Levitt set fire to her lover’s shoes sitting on his porch during the incident on December 19 last year.

The flames spread rapidly, with three fire engines rushing to the home soon after to battle the blaze. The man’s home was left uninhabitable, Chronicle Live reported.

The 30-year-old sent the man messages warning that it was “the last time” he tried to “mug [her] off” and telling him to “watch [his] house go up in flames”.

Another message she sent before getting a taxi home said “you won’t have no home left”.

Prosecutor Vince Ward told the court: “It is clear from the messages that she thought he had met another woman.”

Levitt appeared in the Newcastle Crown Court


NCJ Media)

The court heard a delivery driver who tried to drop off a takeaway saw the silhouette of someone in the property, which was above a shop at Thorndale Road, Sunderland.

He had been trying to deliver a pizza but got no answer, so left and returned ten minutes later.

When he saw the front door was open and the place was on fire, he feared someone was inside.

Mr Ward told the court: “He went in to see if she was still there. He didn’t find anyone.

“He tried to put the fire out, the fire was in the hallway, just inside the front door.

“He tried to put the fire out using water and a wet towel but by the time he got back to it, having searched the flat, it had grown considerably and he was unable to put it out so he ran out and phoned the fire service.

“When he got out he could see fire by that time had taken over the whole of the doorway.”

The court heard the victim, who rented the flat, got back at around 11pm, 45 minutes after he went out, and the fire service were there.

The owner of the property said the flat sustained fire, smoke and water damage and the shop below was also affected and had to be closed for three days.

Mr Ward said there was no figure for the exact amount of damage caused but could be estimated at “four figures”.

The court heard Levitt had met the flat tenant over Facebook and he said they were “friends with benefits”.

The pair had consumed alcohol together before the man went out that night, Mr Ward said.

When arrested the next morning, Levitt said she had been “raging” and “no-one was going to make a mug of her”.

Levitt, of Sunderland, admitted arson being reckless to whether life would be endangered.

Judge Julie Clemitson said while no one was hurt, she had endangered the lives of several people. “You didn’t think of the consequences because you were so blinded by your own anger,” she told her.

Having had read positive references about Levitt, the judge said she would suspend her prison sentence, due to the impact sending her to custody would have on her disabled son, who she is the sole carer for, and her mother, who she also looks after.

She was sentenced to two years suspension with a 10 month curfew, and was required to undergo rehabilitation for her issues surrounding alcohol.

Rachel Hedworth, defending, said Levitt has never been in trouble before, has character references and has caring responsibilities.

Miss Hedworth said Levitt’s behaviour was “utterly out of character” and accepted the delivery driver “risked his own life” by going into the building to try and save her.

She added that her young son has physical and mental disabilities and needs his mum’s care.

The court heard Levitt has mental health issues and has sought professional intervention.

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