BREAKING SHEFFIELD SOUTH YORKSHIRE

An arsonist who hospitalised an elderly woman in an incident in Sheffield has been jailed for over three years

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Robert Ashford, 37, admitted to setting a series of fires in the High Green area of the city on 23 March 2021.
Ashford began his spree by setting dustbins alight in Cottam Road at around 8.40pm that night, before moving onto Foster Way and Potters Gate to do the same.
He fled the scene before emergency services arrived to extinguish the fires and ensure residents were safe and uninjured.
Shortly after midnight, police received further reports of arson, however, this time the target was a property in Thompson Hill.
Ashford had lit a fire at the front door of the property while the 89-year-old occupant slept inside.
After noticing the property was well alight, concerned neighbours rushed outside to help, getting into the house, and carrying the elderly lady to safety.
She was taken to the hospital where she was treated for minor injuries.
As neighbouring properties were evacuated, police received yet another report of arson, as Ashford had returned to Foster Way and set fire to yet another bin.
As officers searched the area, they spotted Ashford acting suspiciously and arrested him on suspicion of arson with recklessness to whether life was endangered.
Ashford, of Sunny Bank, High Green, also admitted seven counts of arson and was jailed for 40 months last week on Friday (27 August) at Sheffield Crown Court.
Investigating officer, PC Jo Clay said: “This was a reckless and hugely distressing incident which has had a devastating impact on the victim, who was targeted in her own home.
“Ultimately, Ashford’s actions could have resulted in the loss of life, thankfully that is not the case and now he is behind bars and no longer posing a risk to the community.
“At the heart of this awful case is a fantastic demonstration of bravery from several members of the public, who rushed to help the victim, Annie.
“Father and son Martin and Matthew Goudge who live nearby spotted the incident unfolding and rushed to Annie’s aid – putting their own safety at risk to ensure she was ok. They managed to get into the property and carried her to safety through an open window.
“Had it not been for their quick thinking and courage, this incident could have had a truly tragic outcome. It’s right that we as a force recognise their actions with a commendation, well done both of you.”