A PENSIONER has admitted arson after setting fire to her own home.

Carol Williams, accompanied by two members of NHS staff, pleaded guilty to the arson attack in Pershore when she appeared at Worcester Crown Court on Monday. The 70-year-old admitted arson ‘being reckless as to whether life was endangered’ following the fire at Cherry Orchard House, owned by Rooftop Housing, on March 22 this year.

The pensioner entered the dock in court one and answered ‘guilty’ when it was put to her that she had set the fire ‘without lawful excuse’ and ‘intending to damage or destroy property,.

We reported upon a previous hearing at magistrates court when Shafquat Reaz, prosecuting said: “The substantial fire nearly collapsed the first floor of the building.”

Williams had made admissions to police in interview, the crown court heard at a previous hearing in August. On Monday the court heard that the pensioner was resident at a psychiatric unit at Worcestershire Royal Hospital. However, she has been deemed fit to plead.

Judge Robert Juckes QC adjourned the case for psychiatric investigations to take place and a probation service pre-sentence report to be prepared. She must live and sleep at the unit until the next court hearing on November 11 this year. Judge Juckes asked Williams to stand and told her: “Mrs Williams, you have pleaded guilty and will get credit for that plea of guilty.”

He told her he was going to put the case back for further investigations both by a psychiatrist and the probation service who have been tasked with preparing a pre-sentence report.

The judge warned her that she must co-operate with probation in the preparation of that report. “I have to warn you that the fact I’m adjourning is not an indication of the type of sentence that will follow,” he said.