Sidcup man admits attempt to ‘fire bomb’ Erith home of ex-girlfriend of 14 years

PUBLISHED: 15:14 13 December 2016

The Old Bailey

The Old Bailey


Michael Lane, 32, appeared before the Old Bailey charged with setting light to a house in Riverdale Road

A vengeful man has admitted an arson attack on the home of his ex-girlfriend following an acrimonious split.

Michael Lane, 32, appeared before the Old Bailey charged with setting light to a house in Riverdale Road, Erith, in the early hours of June 28.

The defendant, of Thursland Road, Sidcup, pleaded guilty to arson with intent to endanger life by damaging the home belonging to Heidi James.

At the time of the attack, Ms James was at the end-of-terrace house with her parents, Angelina and Bob, twin brothers Frankie and Joe and a young boy.

The Crown accepted the plea and asked for six counts of attempted murder - which he denied - to lie on court file.

Prosecutor Graham Smith said: “This is an incident that arose out of the breakdown of a relationship of about 14 years between the defendant and Heidi James which was acrimonious at the time and she received threats in advance.

“In the early hours of the morning the defendant set fire to the end-of-terrace house while they were inside.”

The charges of attempted murder were based on previous threats to “fire bomb” the house, he said.

The court heard there was evidence of a call in which the defendant said he was inside the house and could see the occupants asleep before the fire was started.

The defendant has a previous conviction in 2008 for an arson attack in 2006.

Lane was remanded in custody until his sentencing at the Old Bailey on February 10 next year.

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