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Tuesday, 20 May, 2003, 10:23 GMT 11:23 UK
A woman set fire to a neighbour’s flat because she allegedly failed to fulfil a promise to take her son swimming, a court has heard.
Jacqueline Urquhart was so annoyed that her son had not been taken on the swimming trip that she poured paint stripper on to her neighbour’s door and set it alight.
The woman had to wake her seven-year-old daughter and both were forced to jump from a kitchen window of their flat to safety as Urquhart shouted and screamed outside.
Urquhart, of Craigour Place, Edinburgh, pleaded guilty to wilful fire raising and endangering the lives of her neighbours.
Sheriff Charles Stoddart ordered her to carry out 200 hours’ community service.
Edinburgh Sheriff Court heard how the neighbour and her partner had taken their seven and 10-year-old daughters swimming at the city’s Commonwealth Pool on 12 August, 2002.
On her return, Urquhart, 32, confronted the woman and accused her of failing to fulfil a promise to take her son to the pool.
The woman’s partner and her older daughter went to stay with friends that evening, leaving the 33-year-old mother at home in the flat in the Liberton area with the younger child.
It was just after midnight when the woman, who had been watching television, heard a crackling noise at the front door.
The startled woman saw smoke and immediately phoned the fire brigade.
The court heard that as the woman escaped from the flat with her daughter and their pet dog, Urquhart was screaming outside.
The woman and her daughter were not hurt but Urquhart had to be treated for the effects of smoke inhalation.
Urquhart later told police that she had consumed eight cans of strong lager on top of medication for depression prior to the incident and wanted to make her feelings known.