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Man destroyed sewage pumping station in huge blaze

Dean Yeats, who had to be wrestled away, caused £550,000 of damage at Dundee docks.

Dundee Sheriff Court: Yeats got a community payback order.
Dundee Sheriff Court: Yeats got a community payback order.

A fire starter caused £550,000 worth of damage when he torched a sewage pumping station.

Dean Yeats, 25, of Forfar, Angus, set fire to a piece of paper and threw it on to the King George V pumping station at Dundee docks, starting a blaze that was visible across the city.

Firefighters found Yeats standing just feet from the blaze and had to wrestle him away as he threw items including paving slabs and bottles at the fire.

A sheriff told him his offence was "in the realms of a custodial sentence" but instead placed him on a community payback order.

Fiscal depute Nicola Gillespie told Dundee Sheriff Court the pumping station was completely destroyed at a cost of around £550,000.

She said: "The accused was seen in the area by witnesses who thought it was suspicious.

"He was seen near a concrete platform carrying two bags and a bottle of Buckfast and a member of the public who saw him thought he had no reason to be there.

"Soon after another member of the public saw the locus on fire."

Ms Gillespie added that when firefighters arrived, Yeats was standing just six feet from the blaze.

She said: "A firefighter in full personal protective equipment shouted to come towards him but he continued acting in an extremely agitated manner and the firefighter had to pull him away by the arm."

Yeats, of Forfar, pleaded guilty on indictment to a charge of culpable and reckless fireraising committed on February 16 this year.

Defence solicitor Craig Scott said: "He suffers from a form of drug induced psychosis and is engaging with professionals in relation to that.

"He's aware he must be punished."

Sheriff Alastair Carmichael imposed a community payback order with two years supervision, drug and alcohol treatment and mental health treatment requirements.

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