Arsonist on monkey dust high caused £30k of damage after setting fire to flat

Arsonist Rafal Mikiewicz, aged 41, was jailed for 45 months at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.

A drugged-up man put lives at risk by setting fire to his partner's flat. Rafal Mikiewicz was believed to be under the influence of monkey dust when he became paranoid and started the blaze.

The 41-year-old made a rambling call to the police but had given the incorrect address. However officers arrived and were alerted by the smoke alarm.

Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard Mikiewicz tried to go back inside the flat with a fire extinguisher but was prevented from doing so.

Firefighters arrived and tackled the blaze. No-one was injured but the damage to the property was estimated to be at least £30,000. Now Mikiewicz has been jailed for 45 months.

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Prosecutor Emily Calman said Mikiewicz was staying with his partner in her flat in Paragon Court, Longton, on June 29 last year. But she left the Staffordshire Housing flat and he became paranoid. Miss Calman said: "He described someone was in the flat and he barricaded himself in the property.

"Police believed he may have been under the influence of drugs. They arrived and were alerted to the smoke alarm in the flat and officers went to investigate.

"He was seen leaving the premises. He tried to get back in with a fire extinguisher but was stopped. Police entered other flats to ensure the safety of other occupants and had to remove an animal from one of the flats."

Firefighters arrived and put out the blaze. Miss Calman added: "The defendant was under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Multiple people were endangered."

Mikiewicz, of Blackheath Close, Longton, pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Paul Cliff, mitigating, said Mikiewicz does not suffer from a mental disorder. He said: "He does not have pyromania tendencies. He has no background or interest in fire-starting.

"One suspects monkey dust is the root of this case. On June 29 last year he was living at his long-term partner's home. He was under the influence of drugs, one suspects monkey dust, although he denied that to the police in a rambling call which was plainly delusional. He reported there being someone in the house who intended to harm him in some way, which suggests he was paranoid.

"He was incoherent for in excess of 30 minutes. All of a sudden he began to shout that there was a fire. The fire caught quickly. There was no evidence of the use of accelerants.

"The occupant of the other flat was not at home at the time. But there is an acceptance there was significant risk of harm."

Mr Cliff added that Mikiewicz and his partner lost their accommodation as a result of the fire. He said his client was laid off from his job as a welder during lockdown and he experimented with drugs. Mr Cliff said: "He had too much time on his hands. He had limited income. Monkey dust is cheap and available. He began to use that drug and it impacted on his mental health."

Recorder Julian Taylor said: "You became paranoid. You made a rambling call, saying someone was in the flat. You barricaded the door. The police went to the address. Incorrect details had been given. The smoke alarm for the flat went off and came to their attention. You were seen to leave the premises.

"Other occupants were evacuated. Damage to the flat was said to be £30,000 but the final figure is still to be determined."

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