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3:58pm Monday 15th December 2008
A WOMAN set fire to her home after an eight hour drinking binge, Salisbury Crown Court heard on Monday.
Charlotte Alder, 32, formerly of Spiders Island, Alderbury committed arson by burning her curtains after spending all afternoon in the pub and buying a bottle of vodka on her way home.
Rachel Marshall, prosecuting, told the court smoke was seen coming out of the property at around 8pm on June 28.
When the fire brigade arrived at the house, Alder’s stepfather had put out the fire but the property was filled with smoke.
Alder was found lying in the back garden. She was described as aggressive and told police that her life was over and she wanted to kill herself.
In a police statement, Alder said she couldn’t remember anything between walking home and waking up in the garden.
“She told officers she had been on medication for depression and recently separated from her partner,” said Miss Marshall.
“She had been worse for the preceding week or so and had just come out of Fountain Way hospital.”
Adam Feast, defending, said Alder, who moved to Chilbolton, in Hampshire, is now receiving treatment for her alcohol addiction, has not been drinking since her last court appearance and is “on the mend.”
He urged the judge to remember she needs continuing assistance to stay off alcohol and drugs, and pointed out she has no previous convictions.
Judge Keith Cutler sentenced Alder to an 18-month supervised community order.
“I am quite convinced that you are a person who needs help and assistance, not punishment,” he said.
“The way forward for you is to be more constructive and build on the work you have been able to do over the last few months.”