Former Margate pub landlord jailed for arson recklessly endangering life

Louis Mayhew has been jailed

A former pub landlord who set fire to his Margate home has been jailed.

Louis Mayhew, 26, previously the landlord of the Falcon Inn in Margate Road at Westwood,was heard having a heated telephone conversation during the early hours of Friday, September 7 2018 whilst pacing the rooms of his home in Clarence Avenue. He then went out into his back garden and grabbed a can of petrol from the summer house before returning five minutes later.

Back inside he told a woman who was in bed upstairs to get out of the house as it was on fire. She looked and saw an orange glow outside the bedroom door.

The woman went downstairs to get some water to throw onto the flames and when she returned she noticed another fire had been started underneath the bed she’d been sleeping in and the pillows were alight. In a panic she ran to get more water but Mayhew claimed it was ‘too late’.

The smoke alarms woke up a neighbour who came to help. Mayhew had jumped out of the window and left the woman inside the property.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service were called to the scene along with officers from Kent Police. Mayhew was arrested and subsequently charged with arson with intent to endanger life.

He initially denied intentionally causing the fire and said it had happened accidentally when his cigarette dropped onto a fluffy dressing gown.

He later changed his plea but claimed the second fire had been a result of the first one spreading. A judge ruled against this and he was convicted for arson being reckless to endanger life at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday (March 11).

He was sentenced to four years in prison at the same court yesterday (March 14). He will also serve an additional three years on licence upon his release.

Investigating officer Kerry Whiting said: “Arson is a very serious offence and we can only be thankful that Mayhew’s reckless behaviour did not result in more severe consequences. Luckily no one was hurt that day, nevertheless, he put people’s lives at risk and as such will now spend time in prison.”