Seghill woman who tried to kill herself by starting fire in flat is jailed

A woman who put her neighbours' lives at risk when she sparked a Halloween blaze in her own flat has been jailed.

By Court Reporter
Monday, 28th February 2022, 4:28 pm
Updated Monday, 28th February 2022, 4:44 pm
Jodie Branley, who has been jailed for two years.
Jodie Branley, who has been jailed for two years.

Jodie Branley set fire to a blanket near to the exit of her home in a bid to kill herself while struggling with mental health issues on October 31 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court court heard the people living next door and upstairs on Northcott Gardens, Seghill, were put in potential danger.

Branley, 26, pleaded guilty to arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

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Jodie Branley was jailed for two years when she appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.

Prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court it was around 5.45am on October 31 last year that Branley called the emergency services to report she had set her council home on fire.

Mr Wardlaw said: "The defendant was intoxicated and said she was sick of her life and started the fire to end her life.

"There was smoke damage to the hallway and the fire was set near to the exit of the address.

"She said when she remembered a neighbour was present in the upstairs flat, she contacted the emergency services."

Some of the damage caused by the fire.

The court heard Branley has 49 previous convictions, including for violence and was on a suspended sentence for assaulting an emergency worker at the time.

She was jailed for two years for the arson and 16 weeks of the suspended sentence were activated, to run consecutively.

Miss Recorder Geraldine Kelly told him: "You were reckless as to whether you endangered the lives of others.

"I have seen where your neighbour was and you had another neighbour upstairs.

"There was a significant risk of serious harm, given how close the upstairs property was and the time of the morning the offence was committed."

The court heard Branley had been in care during a traumatic childhood and has mental health issues.

She felt she was not receiving enough support for her "complex" issues, including an unstable personality disorder and PTSD.