AN ARSONIST torched his neighbour’s moped in revenge for him laughing about the death of his mother from coronavirus.

Simon Farrell set fire to the vehicle belonging to Ryan Jackson in Henfield.

The fire caused damage to the moped as well as a car nearby, and melted guttering at Mr Jackson’s property.

Hove Crown Court heard how Mr Jackson had allegedly laughed about Farrell’s mother dying from Covid-19.

Farrell had taken drugs and in his rage set fire to the moped, causing damage to a family property in Hollands Road in the village.

He admitted arson, and the court heard how he was clearly seen on CCTV.

Meanwhile he was also recognised by a firefighter who he knew from sports.

Her Honour Judge Anne Arnold imposed a 16-month suspended prison sentence.

Richard Cherrill, prosecuting, told the court how the incident unfolded at 10.30pm on November 13 last year.

He said: “This defendant armed himself with a petrol soaked rag. He went across the road to his neighbour’s premises where there was a parked moped belonging to Mr Jackson. He set fire to it with what he had taken with him.

“It damaged the vehicle and Mr Jackson’s father’s car, and the fire caused the plastic to melt on the guttering and downstairs window.

“When interviewed, he said the motive for what he had done was that the complainant (Mr Jackson) had been laughing about the death of the defendant’s mother from Covid-19 in March 2020.”

Pierce Power, defending, said 39-year-old Farrell had committed a “stupid” and “amateurish” offence that was caught on CCTV.

He said Farrell works in horticulture, growing plants for hanging baskets, and has a role playing football in Henfield.

Mr Power said: “People in the community know what he did, he has had that shame to carry with him. He needs to address his bereavement and his substance misuse.”

Farrell had been using cocaine and “bitterly regrets what he has done”, Mr Power said.

Judge Arnold said the fire had been frightening for Mr Jackson and his family, leaving the victim unable to use his vehicle to get to work.

She said Farrell, now of Gillett Court, Henfield, had shown remorse and a willingness to overcome his demons.

The arsonist was ordered to pay £1,000 in compensation and complete 25 rehabilitation sessions.