'Reckless' woman jailed for calling 999 to report fires she started

·2-min read
Amy Winter was jailed for 28 months. (Sussex Police)
Amy Winter was jailed for 28 months. (Sussex Police)

A "reckless" woman has been jailed for repeatedly calling 999 to report a fire she started herself on Christmas Eve.

Amy Winter, 42, forced police, firefighters and paramedics to an address in Brighton on 24 December 2020 where they were threatened and assaulted.

Winter claimed in her call to the fire service to report a blaze in a flat and that she was struggling to breathe.

Firefighters arrived and extinguished a small fire.

Soon after her original call she made another one requiring the police and medical services to attend.

She was found to have suffered a head injury but became threatening and abusive when they tried to help.

After being assessed by a mental health officer, Winter calmed down and police officers left the scene.

While paramedics were still on the scene Winter made another call to firefighters, who arrived and put out some bedding that had been set alight.

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Amy Winter set her a bed on fire and then refused to let firefighters in the property. (Sussex Police)
Amy Winter set her a bed on fire and then refused to let firefighters in the property. (Sussex Police)

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As the firefighters were due to leave they noticed another fire through an internal window.

Winter locked herself in the house, forcing the firefighters to break in and extinguish another fire that had been started on a bed.

Winter was found feigning unconsciousness on the floor.

Police returned and arrested her on suspicion of arson with recklessness as to endanger life and was subsequently charged.

She was sentenced on 11 April to 28 months behind bars after she pleaded guilty.

Investigator Rose Horan said: “Amy Winter’s reckless behaviour endangered the lives of her neighbours, firefighters and the wider public. She deliberately started fires and was aggressive towards members of the emergency services.

“All of the police officers, paramedics and firefighters who attended on Christmas Eve displayed incredible patience with her.

“This custodial sentence should send a message to her and others not to waste the valuable time and resources of the emergency services."

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