Jail for 5p arsonists who murdered OAP

Two men have been jailed for life for murdering a harmless elderly widow in an "evil, brutish and cruel" revenge arson attack on her home.

Joseph Thomson and David McAllister, both 28, poured petrol through the letter box then tossed a 5p coin for the "honour" of lighting the fire.

Widow Ruth Whitton, 67, was overcome by fumes and died as the violent blaze swept her Port Talbot home in Oakdene Close on June 27 last year.

John Whitton, 40, the real target of the attack, was rescued by firefighters and later made a full recovery.

Both Thomson and McAllister, of Newland Road, Glasgow, were jailed for life after admitting murdering his mother in the attack.

They also admitted conspiracy to cause grievous bodily harm to Mr Whitton. Paul Connor, 26, also of Glasgow, admitted a similar charge.

Thomson and McAllister were both sentenced to 12 years for the latter charge. Connor was jailed for six years.

Leighton Davies QC, prosecuting, said both Thomson and McAllister had earlier tried to burn down a property that Mr Whitton was house-sitting for friends.

Both attacks were triggered by a false rape allegation made by Thomson's half-sister Kathleen Blair, 41, against Mr Whitton.

Both she and a woman called Diane Interrusi, 42, and Connor were cleared today of conspiracy to commit murder.

No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now