AN ARSONIST who destroyed a van led police right to him — after he set fire to himself.

In dramatic video footage, Kieran Crampton is shown walking up to a house in Nuttall Avenue, Whitefield, in the middle of the night and dousing a Ford Transit van, worth £11,000, in petrol.

But the 23-year-old, of Salisbury Road, Radcliffe, did not step back far enough when he put a match to the vehicle.

The video — captured on CCTV at the couple’s home — shows an explosion, before Crampton runs away with his arm in flames.

After studying the footage in the early hours of August 16 this year, police searched the accident and emergency departments of local hospitals and found Crampton getting treatment for burns to his arm.

Crampton appeared at Bolton Crown Court last week where he was jailed for 40 months after admitting one count of arson and he was also ordered to pay £1,020 costs.

Police say Crampton targeted the van because it belonged to Jason and Samantha Webster, who originally gave him a job at J&S Conservatories and Doors.

After Crampton left the company on bad terms, it is understood he argued with the Websters and this sparked two other incidents of anti-social behaviour outside their home resolved by police informally.

Police say that, on the night of the arson attack, Crampton had been drinking in Bury and decided to buy a can of petrol from the BP station in Bury New Road, Prestwich, before walking more than a mile to Nuttall Avenue at 2.55am.

The fire caused the van to explode twice and neighbours — some with young children — told fire officers they were terrified by the noises and the risk of the fire spreading to their properties.

At the time of the incident, firefighter Tim Eaton, based at Whitefield Fire Station, said: “The van was parked on the drive right near the house so it could have spread to the house easily.”

After the court case, Mrs Webster told The Guide this week: “I am glad that he has been jailed and hopefully it will put an end to what has been happening over the last few months.

“It has caused us a lot of anxiety and worry. 

“At one point I was scared to leave the house in fear that there would be another attack.

“On top of that, it has caused a lot of inconvenience to the company as we had to hire a replacement van and it put us two days behind with work.”

Officers praised the family for the way they had handled the case and praised them for recording the incident.
“Thankfully, incidents like this are rare, but we cannot underestimate how traumatic they can be for families and just how dangerous such fires can be if they get out of hand,” said a Whitefield Police spokesman.

He added: “The sentence sends a strong message to criminals that the justice system will deal with these offences quickly and strongly.”