Moment shameless arsonist plays the hero

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Moment shameless arsonist plays hero by telling police he helped save upstairs neighbor from burning apartment … before CCTV proved HE started burning

  • Robert Barnett, 30, was caught in a fire in Sunderland in an apparent attempt to save the woman
  • CCTV footage later revealed that he had started the fire himself and admitted to being arson
  • Barnett tried to convince police he was the hero after the 2019 fire

Shocking footage captured the moment when a shameless arsonist pretended to be the hero when he told police he was helping save his neighbor from a fire he had started.

Robert Barnett, 30, was seen in a fire on Whitehall Terrace, Sunderland in August 2019, after a fire started in an upstairs apartment.

He claimed this was in an attempt to save the woman who lived above him, who eventually had to jump out of the window to escape the flames.

Barnett claimed he heard ‘screams’ and saw the woman’s staircase in flames – but CCTV had captured him when he entered the address a few seconds earlier.

It was later proven that he was responsible for the fire.

The man initially denied involvement, insisting that he was only trying to help his neighbor. However, he later admitted arson and was reckless about whether life is in danger.

Barnett is sentenced in Newcastle court on July 12.

Robert Barnett (above after the fire), 30, was seen in a fire on Whitehall Terrace, Sunderland, in August 2019 after a fire started in an upstairs apartment

Detective Sergeant David Vincent, of the Northumbria Police Department, said: “ Robert Barnett tried to convince everyone that he was the hero, who was willing to sacrifice his own safety in an attempt to save his neighbor who he thought was trapped above. .

But his story was based on lies – knowing full well that he was the one who lit the flame and started the significant fire that had engulfed the property.

The victim suffered significant injuries as a result of the fire and her health has since deteriorated.

Pictured: Robert Barnett, captured on CCTV moments after starting the Sunderland fire

Pictured: Robert Barnett, captured on CCTV moments after starting the Sunderland fire

Pictured: Barnett captured on CCTV playing the hero during the fire despite lighting it

Pictured: Barnett captured on CCTV playing the hero during the fire despite lighting it

Barnett is sentenced in Newcastle court on July 12

Barnett is sentenced in Newcastle court on July 12

It must have been a horrifying experience for her, as she was afraid she was trapped and her only escape was to jump out of her upstairs window.

It is therefore imperative that the person responsible be brought to justice, and I sincerely hope that this outcome can bring some comfort to the victim and her family.

Barnett should be absolutely ashamed of his actions, and I am glad he has now been convicted in court.

“His actions were reckless and illegal – and he now faces a significant jail term as a result of his decisions that night.”

After the fire started, Barnett was seen on camera surveillance losing his address in his boxer shorts and dialing 999.

He then entered his downstairs apartment and put on a pair of trousers that he thought were fireproof, along with a duvet, and shot up the stairs of the burning property.

In an interview, Barnett was shown camera images that followed his movements prior to the fire and clearly showed that he was entering his neighbor's upstairs apartment

In an interview, Barnett was shown camera images that followed his movements prior to the fire and clearly showed that he was entering his neighbor’s upstairs apartment.

Barnett, without permanent residence, pleaded guilty to arson on the grounds that he was reckless about whether life is in danger when he appeared before Newcastle Crown Court on April 13.  Pictured: fire damage

Barnett, without permanent residence, pleaded guilty to arson on the grounds that he was reckless about whether life is in danger when he appeared before Newcastle Crown Court on April 13. Pictured: fire damage

Pictured: the damage

Pictured: the damage

Barnett claimed he heard ‘screams’ and saw the woman’s stairs shrouded in flames (above, damage to the stairs)

Barnett, who sustained burns, was forced to leave the flat due to the brutality of the fire – at that point, the resident had already jumped out of an upstairs window.

In an interview, Barnett was shown camera images that followed his movements prior to the fire and clearly showed that he was entering his neighbor’s upstairs apartment.

Barnett, without permanent residence, pleaded guilty to arson who was reckless as to whether life is in danger when he appeared before Newcastle Crown Court on April 13.

He will be sentenced in the same court on July 12.

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