‘Fire-obsessed' man who killed pensioner by setting mobility scooter on fire is jailed

Jimmy Nsubuga
·3 min read
Richard Newing, 43, (L) admitted setting the blaze that killed 69-year-old Malcolm Turner. (SWNS)
Richard Newing, 43, (L) admitted setting the blaze that killed 69-year-old Malcolm Turner. (SWNS)

A fire-obsessed man who killed a pensioner by torching his mobility scooter outside his home has been jailed for more than 13 years.

Richard Newing, 43, admitted setting the blaze that killed 69-year-old Malcolm Turner in Coventry on August 20, 2019.

Fire crews rescued the pensioner from his maisonette after they were called to Jenner Street, in Foleshill, Coventry, at 4.25am.

Mr Turner was pronounced dead at the scene as a result of smoke inhalation despite the best efforts of medics.

Newing pleaded guilty to manslaughter and arson with intent to endanger life when he appeared at Warwick Crown Court last February.

On Friday, he was sentenced to 13-and-a-half years in prison for manslaughter and six years for arson to run concurrently.

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The burnt out husk of Malcolm Turner's mobilty scooter. (SWNS)
The burnt out husk of Malcolm Turner's mobilty scooter. (Police)
The scene on Jenner Street in Coventry after the blaze. (swns)
The scene on Jenner Street in Coventry after the blaze. (swns)

The court heard Turner, who was "obsessed with fire", lay paper on top of Mr Turner's mobility scooter before setting it alight outside his home.

The flames quickly blew out windows and spread to the house, which trapped Mr Turner inside, who was overcome by fumes.

Mr Turner, who was heavily reliant on his scooter, was unable to leave the building as the blaze was started at the only exit of his home.

Moments later, Newing was caught on CCTV on nearby Foleshill Road, where he was captured igniting a mattress on another house’s front-drive.

The property instantly lit up in flames, but fortunately, the occupants could escape via a back exit.

Although the attacks’ motive is still unclear, Newing confessed to knowing Mr Turner and drank in the same pub during a police interview.

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Emergency services were unable to save Malcolm Turner. (swns)
Emergency services were unable to save Malcolm Turner. (swns)
Video grab of Richard Newing on the night of the arson. (Police)
Video grab of Richard Newing on the night of the arson. (Police)

In a victim impact statement read in court, Mr Turner’s sister said: “Malcolm was our brother, and our lives have changed forever, due to your actions.

“We had the privilege of him being a much-loved son, brother, uncle, husband and father before he was so senselessly and cruelly taken from us and there will always be an emptiness inside of us due to his death at the hands of you, Richard Newing.

“We, as a family, truly hope that each day you are locked up, you think of our brother and what you did, and that you see our brother’s face each time you light a match or see a flame and realise the pain and heartbreak that you have caused us.

Detective Chief Inspector Jim Munro, of West Midlands Police, added: “I am very pleased that Newing has recognised what he has done and saved Malcolm’s family the trauma of a full trial.

“Newing was clearly obsessed with fire and tragically the consequences of his actions led to Malcolm’s death.”