Fire-raiser admits targeting church

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A SELF-confessed pyromaniac who started a blaze at Elie Church is facing a spell behind bars.

William Livingstone (22) admitted setting fire to bins outside the historic place of worship on April 14 last year, damaging its roof and door.

And Cupar Sheriff Court heard last Thursday that Livingstone was convicted in 2008 of setting fire to a nursery hut at St Monans Primary School.

Depute procurator fiscal Ann Orr told the court that Livingstone had been drinking in a local pub before heading to the beach with some acquaintances.

She went on: “Someone had the idea of building a fire on the beach.

“It was noted that Mr Livingstone began to take over the building of the fire and became excited about it.

“They thought his behaviour was odd.”

Ms Orr described how Livingstone then returned to his Woodside Place home in the early hours of the morning before heading out again and setting fire to recycling bins outside the church.

Firefighters were called around 7.30am and found four wheelie bins had been torched and the church damaged.

Livingstone was traced by police when footprints in the flower beds matched his trainers and CCTV footage confirmed he had left his home in the middle of the night.

Defence solicitor Alan Davie said Livingstone accepted he had a “fascination” with fire and had become “excited” by the campfire on the beach.

He added: “It could be said that this reignited suppressed thoughts about fire-raising.”

Mr Davie urged Sheriff Charles Macnair to show leniency towards Livingstone on the basis that all his convictions related to his “underlying issues” around fire and he would not cope well in jail.

Sheriff Macnair said: “I am prepared to order a psychological report.

“Whether that will keep Mr Livingstone out of prison is highly unlikely.

“But until I see the report, I can’t make that final decision.”

Livingstone will be sentenced on March 22.