Pensioner torched his own home over partner's illness
Sydney Galloway, 84, and Margaret Leadbetter had to be rescued from the house in Girvan.
An 84-year-old man who torched his house because he could not cope with his partner's failing health has walked free from court.
Sydney Galloway and his partner Margaret Leadbetter, also 84, had to be rescued by firefighters as their home in Girvan, South Ayrshire, collapsed around them in November last year.
Galloway confessed to medical staff that he had started the fire and later admitted it at the High Court in Glasgow.
Judge Lady Rae admonished Galloway - a punishment under Scots law where the accused is found guilty but allowed to walk away from court.
She said: "I have already indicated that in this particular case, despite the serious nature of the offence, custody is not the right route and would not serve justice, in the particular circumstances put before me.
"I have thought very carefully about what alternatives are available to me but I have to have regard to your particular personal circumstances."
Lady Rae added: "In the very unusual circumstances of this case in my view the proper disposal is an admonition, you are free to go."
'Margaret wasn't even on my mind, funny enough, you know, because she is the most important person as far as I was concerned.'Sydney Galloway
Galloway, who had taken five sleeping tablets and some whisky, put timber and furniture behind an inner door of the house and poured petrol in the living room and hallway. He then lit a match and went to bed.
During a police interview Galloway said he had been struggling to cope with looking after Ms Leadbetter and doing all the household tasks.
He said: "I doused the living room and hallway with petrol and set it alight using a match.
"Before I'd set it on fire I took sleeping tablets. Maybe about five or that and a good half tumbler of whisky. I was enough to make me do what I done."
He said he wanted to kill himself but not his partner, although he knew she was in the house at the time.
Galloway added: "Margaret wasn't even on my mind, funny enough, you know, because she is the most important person as far as I was concerned."
Ms Leadbetter suffered minor burns in the fire while Galloway had burns to his back, buttocks and both feet.