An eighteen year old teenager, Sophie Stonehewer set her 43-year-old boyfriend Steven Beddow’s house on fire after they had an argument about their sex life.
According to reports, Stonehewer set fire to a curtain with matches and candle in Beddow’s house while he was asleep in the early hours of February 1. When she couldn’t put out the fire, she ran to a neighbour’s house to confess saying “he made me do it” amidst tears.
Beddow jumped out of bed and managed to put the fire out before the it caused any major damage to his house in Offerton, Stockport.
Stonehewer’s defence barrister Robert Lancaster said: “There was an argument between them it involved alcohol and sexual activity.
“The argument was of some severity which left this defendant upset and angry, and in an emotive state. It is right to say that that she was pushed in a very emotive way and she reacted to her partner in a way she had never done before and in a way that she is deeply sorry for.
“She tried to put the fire out with her hands but didn’t have much success. She ran to a neighbouring address to raise the alarm and that friend rang the fire service and the police. When they got there the fire had been put out by Mr Beddows.
“The defendant was in hysterics and she was deeply upset and deeply fearful of Mr Beddows reaction of what she had done. She accepts what she had done and then she became more hysterical when she was arrested and taken to the police station.”
Stonehewer escaped jail after admitting arson at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester.
She wept as she was instead handed a two year suspended sentence after the judge said she was a “hugely vulnerable” young woman.
It was learnt in the court that the couple started dating when Stonehewer was just 17. They are still believed to be together.
Hmmm, well they say age has got nothing to do with love but shouldn’t education be on her priority list right now? Just thinking out loud.