Arsonist jailed for five years after setting light to possessions of two men sleeping rough

A man who set fire to the belongings of two homeless men while they slept has been jailed for five years.

Montel Nowhia-Job, 23, targeted two men sleeping rough in Croydon on June 10, 2019.

One victim was asleep by the Crisis Centre in Surrey Street at 3am when Nowhia-Job started a fire beside him and walked away.

The victim woke up almost three minutes later and managed to put out the fire with his hands, resulting in minor burns.

His sleeping bag, items of clothing and important documents were destroyed in the fire.

Just over an hour later, Nowhia-Job targeted a second victim on George Street.

The victim awoke to feeling heat on his hoodie and sleeping bag before discovering that his clothes were on fire.

He managed to pat the flames down and suffered minor burns and blisters to his hands. 

The fire destroyed his sleeping bag, clothes and cash. 

Nowhia-Job was sentenced to five years in custody and a further three years on an extended licence at Croydon Crown Court sitting at Southwark Crown Court on Monday, September 27.

He had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered in connection with the incidents in the early hours of 10 June 2019.

Robert Levack, from the CPS, said: “People who are homeless are already vulnerable because they do not have a safe place to call home.

“Montel Nowhia-Job’s actions were frightening, reckless and could have had grave consequences for these men. Although neither of the victims received serious injuries, they have both suffered significant psychological trauma as a result of these arson attacks. 

 “I hope this prosecution goes some way to reassuring those sleeping rough that they should report crimes against them to the police, and that the CPS will support them by taking their cases to court where there is the evidence to do so.”

The CPS successfully applied for compensation for the victims in this case.

Pictured top: CCTV footage showing Nowhia-Job with a lighter and the victim’s possessions on fire

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