A NEIGHBOUR-from-hell who set fire to a woman’s house has been jailed for 18 months.
Ann Campbell, 54, left Michelle McDade terrified during a year-long campaign of abuse which included sparking two fires on her property.
Campbell dropped burning objects from her upper window onto garden furniture and bins in Hamilton, Lanarkshire.
McDade, who lived downstairs, had been asleep and was only alerted to the danger of the second blaze by her dog barking.
She managed to escape her home but collapsed on the street outside.
An investigation initially ruled the first fire was ‘accidental’ but a police probe was launched after a second blaze caused extensive damage to a gas mains three months later.
Campbell denied any wrongdoing and went on trial at Hamilton Sheriff Court but a jury convicted her of two charges of wilful fire raising in May and August 2021.
She was also found guilty of acting in a threatening or abusive manner towards McDade between September 2020 and September 2021.
Sheriff Colin Dunipace said there was no alternative to a prison sentence.
Giving evidence, McDade told jurors how she had been petrified when a blaze broke out.
She said: “My dog Tilly was barking and I was asleep so thought the dog wanted out.
“I’ve looked up and thought I’d left the kitchen light on but as I walked closer I noticed it wasn’t a light and as I pulled open the blind I then saw the fire and the window exploded.
“I got Tilly’s lead straight away, it was just scary and then I heard a loud chapping on my front door and it was Ann’s son and I phoned my other neighbour to tell them to get out because there was another fire.
“I got myself out and started walking away and I remember my neighbour coming running out the house as I collapsed and I remember Ann was shouting out from her living room window.
“The fire brigade came and said it was deliberate, I was just scared and in shock.”
McDade added: “She would shout things over the fence towards me, that I was a f*****g idiot and would throw her rubbish over the fence, just anything really.
“I felt scared and intimidated because there were four adults upstairs and I was on my own downstairs.”
Sheriff Dunipace said: “Had it not been for the fact you are a first offender then the sentence would have been more.
“This was clearly carried out as part of an ongoing dispute with your neighbour.”
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