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Angus firebug breaches community order imposed in wake of £1/2 million Dundee docks blaze

The fire at the King George V water tower on Dundee docks in February 2017
The fire at the King George V water tower on Dundee docks in February 2017

An Angus firestarter who caused more than £1/2 million damage in a blaze at Dundee docks is facing jail after failing to comply with a court order which kept him in the community.

Last November, Dean Yeats dodged a prison term after admitting the blaze which destroyed a sewage pumping station at Dundee’s King George V wharf when he discarded a lit piece of paper.

Dean Yeats

Despite being told the offence had taken Yeats into the “realms of a custodial sentence”, the 25-year-old was given an opportunity by a sheriff to continue to receive treatment for difficulties in his life when he was made the subject of a two-year Community Payback Order.

Dundee Sheriff Court previously heard that Yeats was seen standing with a bottle of Buckfast in his hand minutes before the fire began to engulf the station in February 2017.

Yeats was heard by a member of the public to shout ‘no, no, no’ as he went towards the fire.

He then told onlookers: “It was me – I didn’t mean it” as flames engulfed the huge pumping station in the dramatic blaze.

The inferno could be seen from across the city.

Firefighters who arrived at the scene found him standing in a perilous position just feet away.

They had to pull Yeats away as he threw items including paving slabs and bottles into the flames.

The pumping station was completely destroyed, at an estimated cost of £550,000.

Yeats, of Montrose Road, Forfar admitted an indictment containing a charge of culpable and reckless fireraising and the court was told by his solicitor that the accused was suffering from a form of drug-induced psychosis for which he was receiving treatment.

The sentencing sheriff in the case told him: “This was a serious matter and a lot of damage was done. That puts it in the realms of a custodial disposal.

“The reports tell me you need treatment and you have started taking steps towards that.”

The CPO imposed at Dundee included compulsory drug and alcohol and mental health treatment requirements, but Yeats has now admitted failing to comply with the terms of the order.

He appeared before Sheriff Derek Reekie at Forfar and admitted breach of the CPO.

Yeats is also facing other matters at Forfar, but solicitor Nick Markowski said the indictment case breach was the most serious.

Sentence was deferred until July 12.

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