An arsonist was captured on CCTV footage after he torched bags of rubbish and a wheelie bin near a jeweller’s and a charity shop in Chesterfield.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how Michael Dove, 26, of Newbold Court, Newbold, Chesterfield, set bin bags alight outside a vacant premises which was next door to a jewellers in The Shambles before torching a wheelie bin outside the National Hereditary Breast Cancer charity.
Prosecuting solicitor Ian Shaw said: “These charges are clearly intentional arson. They thankfully led to nothing more than damage to the items that were set on fire.”
But he added: “There was potential for a far more serious fire but thankfully that did not occur.”
Dove was seen on CCTV unsuccessfully trying to light the bags before he returned to set them on fire, according to Mr Shaw, and shortly afterwards another blaze was discovered in a bin outside the charity shop.
A pub landlord also alerted police and the fire service were called out to deal with both blazes.
Police located Dove near the town hall where he was drinking out of a two litre bottle of booze.
He told police he had been drinking in Queen’s Park and initially would not accept responsibility for the arson attacks.
Dove eventually pleaded guilty to two counts of committing arson after the incidents on Saturday, July 26.
Defence solicitor Bob Bashforth said: “Mr Dove has sought help for depression. He had been drinking and when he was seen on camera he was drinking from a two litre bottle and a cider bottle was recovered.
“It was something done on the spur of the moment.”
Magistrates adjourned the case until August 18 to consider a probation report before sentencing. Dove was released on conditional bail with an electronically monitored curfew.