A CRACK cocaine addict who torched the belongings of a homeless man outside a shopping centre has been jailed.

Lindsay Dewey attacked the spare clothes and blankets belonging to Graham Sawyer outside the Montague Centre in Worthing in October.

Mr Sawyer lost everything he had.

Flames and smoke spread and caused £150,000 worth of damage and loss of earnings for the Laura Ashley shop.

The 41-year-old admitted the charge at Lewes Crown Court and has now been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison.

Judge Christine Laing QC told her: “Those who have to live on the street have many difficulties to deal with, not least the abuse from other members of the public who often show intolerance to the reasons that cause somebody to be on the street in the first place.

“You should have been able to understand that, as you have spent time on the street yourself.”

Naomi Edwards, prosecuting, said the pair had known each other for three years, and a row started when Dewey tried to steal Mr Sawyer’s bike and ride away.

CCTV showed how Dewey had walked up to to the store front and started the fire, before shocked onlookers and staff from nearby shops tried to put out the flames.

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Ms Edwards said Dewey has 46 previous convictions for 98 offences, which included a vicious attack on Mr Sawyer.

She was previously jailed for 14 weeks for battery, after she threw Mr Sawyer’s belongings across the street, then when he returned she assaulted him by riding his bicycle into him, hitting him over the head with a boot, and pulling his hair and dragging him along.

Simon Molyneux, defending, said mum-of-three Dewey has been battling drug and alcohol addictions.

He said: “If she were to actually deal with these issues relating to drugs and alcohol, things would be an awful lot better for her.

“When you see the photographs taken of her from the time of her arrest, compared to her appearance today, they are not the same woman.

“She has clearly benefited from not being on drugs and alcohol. Her life has been so chaotic. I don’t wish to be harsh on her.

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“If she could just get some order in her life she has much that she could contribute, and her three boys would appreciate some contact with their mother.”

Judge Laing QC said Dewey, of no fixed abode, has an “appalling” criminal record.

She said: “This arson was blatant and clear on CCTV.

“Whatever the reasons, you deliberately set fire to his belongings, destroying them all. Only a substantial custodial sentence can be justified.”

Dewey was put under a restraining order not to contact or see Mr Sawyer for ten years.

If she breaches the order when she is released, she could face up to five years in prison.

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