AN ARSONIST set fire to his home after rowing with his housemates, a court heard.

Shane McCarthy threatened to kill two other men at the property he was renting in Granby Grove, Southampton

Prosecution barrister, Mark Florida-James, told how the 27-year-old had been arguing with his housemates about a broken phone and TV.

McCarthy is believed to have sparked the fire by holding a cushion above the kitchen hob.

Mr Florida-James told that the defendant had vowed to "fight fire with fire" during the row.

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Police and firefighters raced to the scene and the blaze - which caused £1,500 of smoke damage - was extinguished. 

Appearing before Southampton Crown Court, McCarthy, of Wetherby Gardens, Totton, was charged with arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered.

He previously pleaded guilty to the offence that happened in January this year.

The court heard how McCarthy has "eight convictions for some 16 offences".

His criminal record includes battery and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. 

Furthermore, he was subject to a community order at the time of the arson attack. 

But defence barrister, Chris Wing said: "It was a stupid thing to do. He realises that. He didn't think of the consequences of what he was doing.

"Most of his offending is alcohol-related. He had the courage to admit it at an early stage."

Mr Wing stressed that McCarthy's mental health is "complicated" because of his "unhealthy reliance on alcohol". 

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The incident took place in the early hours of the morning but when both inhabitants were awake.

Judge Nicholas Rowland described the incident as an "alcohol-fueled attack". 

"You were subject to a community order at the time. There is always the risk that fire gets out of control," he said.

He jailed McCarthy for two years and nine months.

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