Heroin addict jailed for £5 million railway station fire

Gemma Peat has been jailed for 25 months

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

A drug addict who caused £5.6 million worth of damage to Nottingham railway station after setting fire to a toilet cubicle has been jailed for just over two years.

Heroin and cocaine addict Gemma Peat had been taking drugs in the station toilets in January last year before starting a fire in a sanitary bin.

Judge Gregory Dickinson QC said it was a “stupid and dangerous thing to do”.

“This offence is a consequence of drug addiction. Your reason for going into a toilet was to smoke heroin and crack cocaine,” he said.

“At some point you recklessly discarded smouldering debris in a sanitary bin in the cubicle. The bin must have been smouldering as you left. You should have realised but you may not have done in your drugged up state.”

The 34-year-old has previously committed a total of 108 offences including shoplifting, knife possession and assaulting emergency workers.

The fire caused travel chaos last January

More than 100 firefighters attended the blaze, which quickly spread due to defects in the building’s construction.

The court heard the station’s builders had “cut corners” by packing the toilet wall with a foot of flammable polystyrene after realising the ceiling was uneven.

The fire led to the closure of the station, several surrounding roads and the tram line.

After the sentence Judge Dickinson said it was a “sad fact” that drug addicts use public toilets and clearer regulations should have been in place to prevent the fire spreading so quickly.

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