A DEPRESSED man caused £40,000 damage by setting alight his home after falling out with his partner, a court was told.

Neighbours in Horsebridge Avenue, Badsey, near Evesham, were awakened in the early hours of June 29 by the sound of a smoke alarm and his dogs running round the garden. A paramedic found Phillip McCutcheon, aged 48, in the bedroom of the semi-detached house after fire had been started in the kitchen and a downstairs room.

McCutcheon told them that he hoped the fire would “get him” and confessed that he had tried to hang himself, said Peter Grice, prosecuting at Worcester Crown Court.

McCutcheon, who admitted arson, was given a two-year community order and told to be supervised by the probation service and accept any medical and psychiatric help offered.

The court was told that McCutcheon's partner and her 16-year-old son had left the house and he also made sure that his dogs were safe outside. Apart from his personal problems, drink was also a catalyst, said Paul Cook, defending. He had bought a bottle of whisky and this, combined with his medication, had caused him to try and kill himself.

“It was a pitiful state of affairs,” he said. “He bitterly regrets what he did and he had no intention of harming anyone apart from himself.”

Judge Richard Rundell sympathised with McCutcheon’s problems, compounded by his partner’s ill health, but said there was no excuse for the way he had behaved.