A MAN from Llandudno who was behind a “planned” arson attack on a rehabilitation unit in Ruthin has been jailed.

Mark Roberts, 55, of Cwm Howard Lane, was sentenced to 17 months’ imprisonment at Mold Crown Court today (April 3).

He had previously admitted handling stolen goods, possession of a class B drug, and arson.


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Prosecuting, Alexandra Carrier told the court that, on July 29, 2022, Roberts threw smoke packets which were taped together through a window of Tan-y-Castell rehabilitation unit in Ruthin.

The packets landed on a windowsill and ignited, causing small damage.

Some residents were woken up by the firm alarm which was sounded and had be taken into a bathroom of the premises.

After the smoke had died down, the object was found and analysed; it contained white powder which could ignite after contact with a naked flame.

At 4.40am that day, Roberts called 999 to report that the neighbouring Llys Marchan care home was on fire, rather than Tan-y-Castell.

When police arrived about 35 minutes later, Roberts could not be found, but a bag containing candles and bits of paper was recovered.

Among those bits of paper was a note stating: “3am, smoke the b****** out”.

After Roberts was later found by officers, he protested his innocence as he was arrested.

He was also found to have made a Facebook account under the name “Rockhead Roberts”, and had uploaded to it photographs of a cartoon fireman putting out a fire, and a phoenix saying: “I’m on fire today”.

On April 11, 2023, police received a report of a burglary, where the complainant had items including her mobile phone stolen.

The phone was traced to Roberts’ address, which police attended the following day before arresting him again.

Roberts produced the Samsung phone in question from under his bed, while during a search of his property, officers also recovered a quantity of amphetamine.

Defending Roberts, who had nine previous convictions for 18 offences, Simon Killeen said that his client has suffered from brain damage, which was later exacerbated by a bleed on the brain.

“The mental state of this defendant is (now) very different,” Mr Killeen said, appealing for a suspended custodial sentence for Roberts.

“He’s in a far better position than he’s ever been to take advantage of any help that he’s given.”

Roberts had also written his own letter of apology to the court.

Sentencing, Recorder Wyn Lloyd-Jones told Roberts: “It’s perfectly obvious that you planned this arson attack.

“People like you with mental difficulties who use controlled drugs - you make it worse, instead of better.

“The best advice anyone in my position can give you is this – do not use controlled drugs.”

Roberts was banned from sending any parcel, package or letter to either Llys Marchan or Tan-y-Castell, while the seized amphetamine was ordered to be forfeited and destroyed.