Father set fire to his house with son and nephew inside after complaining about mess

·3 min read
Alan Wharrier, 53 - he set his own house on fire with his son and nephew upstairs after complaining it was a mess. He lived in a semi-detached house in Guiseley, West Yorkshire and the incident took place on July 20 last year.
He has been arrested and trailed at Leeds crown court. See SWNS story SWLSfire; A man set his own house on fire with his son and nephew upstairs - after complaining it was a mess. Allan Wharrier, 53, was believed to have put the lives of his family and neighbours in serious danger when he started the blaze. Wharrier, from Leeds, lived in a semi-detached house in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, with his adult son and nephew. On the evening of July 20 last year, he called his wife, who lives in the Philippines, and complained that the house was a mess.
Alan Wharrier set his own house on fire with his son and nephew upstairs after complaining it was a mess. (SWNS)

A man has been jailed after setting fire to his own house while his son and nephew were upstairs.

Allan Wharrier, 53, started the blaze at his semi-detached home in Guiseley, West Yorkshire, because he was fed up with the mess, a court heard.

When he was dragged out of the burning house by police on 20 July last year, he said: “I didn’t mean to harm anyone. I had enough.”

He later pleaded guilty to arson, reckless as to whether life was in danger, and was sentenced to three years in prison. He was also ordered to pay a £190 victim surcharge.

At the time of the fire, Wharrier was living in the house with his adult son and nephew.

Leeds Crown Court heard that he called his wife, who lives in the Philippines, that evening and complained the house was a mess.

Wharrier, who suffers from osteoporosis, had drunk almost a full bottle of wine and his son had described him as being in a bad mood.

His nephew later heard Wharrier say: “You don’t care about me. All you do is go to your rooms.”

According to reports, Wharrier texted his daughter with passwords to his accounts later that evening, telling her to "end it all" and burn the house down.

He then set fire to a rubbish bag next to the chair he was sitting on in the living room.

His son tried to put out the fire but it had already spread to Wharrier’s chair and smoke had started to fill the house.

Read more: Essex fire which ripped through 15 gardens was caused by chiminea

A general view of Leeds Crown Court.
Allan Wharrier was sentenced at Leeds Crown Court to three years in prison. (PA)

Wharrier's daughter, who lives in Blackpool, was alerted by his nephew and immediately called emergency services.

The cousins ​​left the house and Wharrier locked the door behind them.

When West Yorkshire Police arrived on the scene, they saw the living room was a glowing orange - and discovered that Wharrier had started another fire, this time setting fire to a box.

Police had to drag him out of the house to safety.

Firefighters eventually put out the fires and Wharrier was taken to hospital after suffering smoke inhalation.

Prosecutor Bashir Ahmed said Wharrier’s son and nephew felt “unsafe in their own home” after the incident.

A neighbour of the adjacent property, who was home at the time, said he feared for his safety and that of his family.

“Several lives were at risk,” Ahmed said.

When questioned by police, Wharrier accepted his actions were “reckless and stupid" but he claimed he was under “immense stress” due to his poor health and the state of the home.

He claims he had not seen his wife for more than two years because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Mitigating for Wharrier, Eleanor Mitten said: “He is extremely remorseful and has absolutely no intention of repeating any of that behaviour.

“It’s against a very sad background and it was essentially a cry for help.”

Wharrier, now of Station Road, Batley, was told by Judge Penelope Belcher: “You set those fires in circumstances you knew others were in the house.

“I accept that hurting others was not a genuine desire. But the point is the risk to others – and there was serious risk.”