Colin William Goulding aged 30 from Abertillery, Blaenau Gwent pleaded guilty to Arson with intent to endanger life at Cardiff Crown Court on Tuesday 7th January 2014.
Matthew Roberts, prosecuting, accepted the plea and Goulding was sentenced to six years and three months at Cardiff Crown Court on Wednesday 8th January 2014.
The guilty plea stemmed from a fire that took place at Real Crisps Factory based in Crumlin (Caerphilly County Borough) on September 20th 2012 where 20 staff evacuated the premises and 50 Firefighters from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service attended in order to extinguish the fire.
Due to the expertise of the Fire Crews and the quick evacuation of the staff working at the factory no injuries were incurred however the fire resulted in the majority of the 120 staff being made redundant in October 2012, which brings more hardship to these families and the community of Blaenau Gwent during these challenging times.
Following the extinguishing of the fire a joint investigation into the cause of the fire was conducted by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Gwent Police. The evidence gathered by both Services and the subsequent reports proved beyond all reasonable doubt that Colin William Goulding was guilty which led to his guilty plea.
Group Manager and Head of the Fire Crime Unit at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Dewi Jones said;
“Currently 78% of all fires attended by South Wales Fire and Rescue Service are started deliberately which is completely unacceptable. Arson is a serious crime that has an impact on the whole community. The South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Fire Crime Unit will continue to work with the Police and its partners to bring arsonists to justice. We also urge members of the public to help us look after their communities and the safety of their families by reporting any individuals they believe are involved with arson activities. Any information can be reported anonymously to the Police or through the SWFRS app or by calling the Fire Crime Unit free on: 0800 7317287”.