ARSONIST admits manslaughter and starting fatal fire before swearing at the court and refusing psychiatric evaluation.
Declan Lancaster, aged 23 swore at the court and said a psychiatric evaluation of him to assess how much risk he poses is a “waste of time.” Lancaster had heard prosecutors drop the charge of murder after they accepted his guilty plea to manslaughter and arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.
The victim Patryk Mortimer aged 39, tragically died in the fire on November 3, 2018. He had been a tenant at the Manor House, a former care home on High Street, Easington Lane, Sunderland.
Lancaster insisted to the court that, “There’s nothing wrong with me, nothing, it’s just dragging my past up.” And when the judge said that psychiatric reports would be needed before passing sentence, Lancaster said, “I ain’t even seeing a psychiatrist, you can **** off, waste of time.”
Detective Sergeant Steven Brown, of Northumbria Police, spoke after the hearing and expressed his condolences to the victim’s family and said, “First and foremost, our thoughts go out to Patryk’s friends and family for whom the last two-and-a-half years since this tragic incident has been a devastating time.
“While we know nothing can remove the pain that they inevitably feel having lost a loved one, we sincerely hope they can take some comfort knowing that the person responsible has now been brought to justice.
“This has been a significant investigation that has involved a team of detectives trawling through more than 600 hours of CCTV footage, hundreds of statements and carried out a huge amount of enquiries.”
Lancaster will be sentenced in July.
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