Sutton life-saver praised by judge after pulling man out of burning flat

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A JUDGE has praised a man’s courage and awarded him £500 for pulling an unconscious 20 year-old Sutton man from his smoke-filled flat.

Adam McNally probably saved the life of Ian Bamford, who had started a fire after splitting with his girlfriend, Nottingham Crown Court heard.

The rescue took place in a terrace of houses in Outram Street.

Bamford had been drinking before arguing with someone outside a McDonalds restaurant in iutton on 12th November last year.

His girlfriend, Mr McNally’s sister Jade, had ‘sent him packing,’ said Jon Fountain, prosecuting on Friday.

Bamford said he was going to kill himelf and repeated the threat in text messages to Miss McNally.

She went home with her mother then realised she needed some medication from his flat.

She texted him then set off for the flat with her mother. When she telephoned him he had already set fire to clothing and cushions in his first floor room.

“He was trapped and screaming,” said Mr Fountain.

She rushed to the scene and saw smoke escaping from a window.

“Her brother braved the smoke and most courageously dragged the defendant out. He was unconscious,” said Mr Fountain.

Bamford’s actions appeared to have been an attempt to rekindle his relationship with his girlfriend, the court was told.

Bamford, now 21, of Greensfield, Skegby, at first said the fire was an accident but he pleaded guilty to arson with reckless disregard for life.

He had previous convictions for theft, vehicle taking and assault.

His barrister James Horne said: ‘He’s immature, he knows he needs to grow up fast. He has gone 10 months without committing another offenceand has enrolled on a college course.’

The Recorder of Nottingham, Judge Michael Stokes, told Bamford: “It is plain to me you did what you did as a stupid and immature way of drawing attention to yourself.

“If it had not been for Mr McNally you might well have died. You owe him an immense debt of gratitude. What he did was extremely courageous.”

The judge added: “I commend him and direct a £500 reward from public funds.”

Normally Bamford would have been going to prison for two years, said the judge, but it was plain he had behaved more like a 15 year-old than a 21 year-old. Also he was extremely vulnerable. He had now returned to live with his grandparents.

The sentence was a two-year community order with probation supervision and attendance at a ‘thinking skills’ programme.