Canterbury: Woman Jailed For 18-Years For Attempted Murder

A woman who tried to kill herself and three other people by setting fire to a house in Canterbury has been sentenced to 18-years in prison.

A woman who tried to kill herself and three other people by setting fire to a house in Canterbury has been sentenced to 18-years in prison.

Pearl Ivy D’Souza, 38, started the fire at her home in Keats Corner on 18 April 2014. She and three other people in the house only survived the fire when D’Souza saw the flames and changed her mind.

Emergency services were called to the property after D’Souza banged on the door for help and a neighbour raised the alarm.

When fire crews arrived they found a fire in the kitchen area which had been started deliberately.

The gas supply pipe behind the cooker in the kitchen had been disconnected and the gas had been ignited with a lighter. A smoke detector was found in the kitchen bin.

All four people in the house were taken to hospital and were treated for smoke inhalation.

D’Souza was arrested and charged with three counts of attempted murder and arson with intent to endanger life.

She pleaded guilty on 30 September 2014 and was today (9 June 2015) appeared before Canterbury Crown Court where she was ordered to serve 18-years in prison with 4-years extended licence for each of the attempted murder charges to run concurrently.

Detective Inspector Janine Farrell of The Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate said: ‘Pearl D'Souza has been convicted of three attempted murders, but who can be sure of how many other potential victims were also put at risk by her deliberate and selfish actions.

‘There is no doubt she intended to kill herself and the other occupants of the house that day when she ignited the gas with her lighter. It was only her lack of knowledge about the levels of gas required to cause an explosion that prevented fatalities in the house and in the neighbouring vicinity.

‘My thoughts are with all her victims and everyone else adversely affected by this incident. I hope the sentence will go some way towards reassuring them that justice has been served.’

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