Specialist London Solicitors in Arson Cases
At MFI Law Limited we have the expertise in representing clients charged with arson. Our London Solicitors are available to represent clients at London Police Stations, Magistrates' and Crown Courts throughout the country.
Section 1 of the Arson Criminal Damage Act 1971 states:
- A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property belonging to another intending to destroy or damage any such property or being reckless as to whether any such property would be destroyed or damaged shall be guilty of an offence.
- A person who without lawful excuse destroys or damages any property, whether belonging to himself or another—
- intending to destroy or damage any property or being reckless as to whether any property would be destroyed or damaged; and
- intending by the destruction or damage to endanger the life of another or being reckless as to whether the life of another would be thereby endangered; shall be guilty of an offence
- An offence committed under this section by destroying or damaging property by fire shall be charged as arson.
Section 1(2) of the Act makes it an offence to destroy or damage property intending thereby to endanger the life of another, or being reckless as to whether the life of another would thereby be endangered.
In R v Steer  AC 111 it was held that for an offence under Section 1(2) of the Act the prosecution had to prove that the danger to life resulted from the actual destruction of, or damage to property.
Thus, those who drop objects on a moving train or railway line, or throw missiles at or ram police cars may be properly convicted of an offence under Section 1(2) of the Act. If the intent is to break the windscreen or window, a jury is entitled to infer that there was an intent to shower the driver or passengers with glass and that as a result of being so showered, control could be lost, thereby endangering life. The danger would be caused, and intended to be caused, by the broken glass.
For the offence of criminal damage of “simple arson” the property of another must be damaged. In the aggravated offence in Section 1(2), it can be any property, even that belonging to the defendant him or herself.
Sentencing guidelines for Arson
Maximum Sentence: Life Imprisonment