A man endangered the lives of his elderly neighbours by setting fire to a cupboard in his house in a failed suicide attempt.
Stanley Cattenach, 35, told a 999 operator he wanted help as he was mentally ill and had started the fire himself.
Cattenach admitted that on November 4 last year, at Milton Street, Monifieth, he wilfully set fire to clothing in a hall cupboard in his home and the fire took effect, causing damage to the interior of the house and substantial risk to elderly neighbours, to the danger of their lives.
Fiscal depute Eilidh Robertson told Dundee Sheriff Court Cattenach lived in a terraced bungalow surrounded mainly by older residents.
On the day in question he called 999 and told the operator he had started fire in a cupboard.
“He was told to leave the property by the operator and to alert his neighbours,” said Ms Robertson.
“Firefighters were in attendance within five minutes and when they arrived the accused was standing outside along with other neighbours.”
Ms Robertson said one of the firefighters spoke to Cattenach and he told him there was a fire in a cupboard.
The firefighters entered the property and found a pile of clothing beside the cupboard.
The cost of the fire to Angus Council was put at £12,500, the fiscal added.
She said Cattenach had called his mother and told her about his suicide attempt and when she arrived he told her he had started the fire himself.
Cattenach and his mother approached police to tell them he had set the blaze “because I wanted to kill myself”.
Ms Robertson said the accused then told police: “I’m sorry I put others at risk. I wasn’t thinking.”
Solicitor Ian Flynn told the court Cattenach had already seen a psychiatrist and had further appointments lined up.
He asked Sheriff Alastair Carmichael to consider deferring sentence for three months to allow him to attend those appointments.
Sentence was deferred until July 3 for reports and for the defence to produce a psychiatric report.
n If you feel suicidal, or just need someone to talk to, volunteers at the Samaritans are on hand to help 24 hours a day. Contact them by calling their freephone number 116123, or by emailing email@example.com.