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Labourer jailed for blaze deaths

A labourer has been told he must serve at least seven and a half years in prison for killing two young jockeys who died when he torched a flat in a drunken revenge attack.

Peter Brown started a fire after being refused entry to a party at flats in Norton, North Yorkshire, in September last year.

The blaze ripped through the block, killing apprentices Jamie Kyne, 18, from Kiltrogue, Co Galway, Ireland, and Jan Wilson, 19, from Forfar, Scotland.

Brown, 37, of Brotherton, North Yorkshire, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter. He was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection when he appeared at Leeds Crown Court.

Passing sentence, Mrs Justice Nicola Davies said independent assessments had concluded he still posed a significant risk to the public. In particular, he showed a lack of control when faced by rejection - as demonstrated by his actions on the night of the fire.

She told him: "The offences of which you have been convicted are extremely serious. As a result of your actions, two young people, aged 18 and 19, both of whom had embarked on promising careers in the field of horse racing, lost their lives.

"Jamie Kyne's family has lost a much-loved son, grandson and brother. Jan Wilson's family has lost a much-loved daughter and granddaughter. For them, life will never again be the same."

The jury at Leeds Crown Court last May was told that a drunken Brown set light to rubbish in the stairwell after he returned from a drinking session in local pubs in the early hours. Residents had to jump from windows or climb down drainpipes to escape, but Kyne and Wilson were trapped.

After sentencing Brown, the judge turned to the packed public gallery to praise the "dignity and restraint" shown by the relatives of the victims and the "strength of character" they demonstrated.

She said: "The sentence I have imposed is the very minimum he will serve and is the equivalent of a determinate sentence of 15 years."

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