A teenager who pushed a burning firework through the front door of a house in London Colney has been sent to a young offenders’ institution.
Paul Higgs pushed the firework through the letterbox late at night.
Inside was a mother and her young child.
St Albans Crown Court was told the first she knew something was wrong was when she heard a “loud bang” at the door.
In the hallway she discovered the firework burning in the letterbox as flames dropped onto the carpet.
Richard Jones, prosecuting, told the the court the arson attack occurred at around 10pm on October 8 last year at the mother’s home in Alexander Road, London Colney.
He said she was able to put out the flames using clothing but there had been some fire damage caused to the carpet.
The court was told Higgs was arrested by the police because an examination of the firework was found to contain a trace of his DNA.
Higgs, of Saracens Head Yard, Pageant Road, St Albans, pleaded guilty to one count of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
Judge Graham Arran, hearing the case, was told there was nothing to suggest the victims had been targeted by Higgs, who didn’t know them.
The judge said the offence was aggravated by the fact that it was at night, there had been no attempt to put it out or raise the alarm by Higgs and the property itself was part of a terrace, which meant the fire could have spread.
The prosecutor said Higgs had committed a number of criminal damage offences in the past.
Higgs was said to now feel remorse for what he’d done that night and it was accepted he’d had a troubled childhood.
Passing sentence, Judge Arran told Higgs: “This was a very serious offence which could have had the most dreadful consequences.”
He sentenced him to 16 months in a young offenders’ institution.