Page last updated at 17:28 GMT, Thursday, 21 January 2010

Bin arson man convicted of murdering Nottingham woman

Scene of fire
Rowbotham had burgled another house before starting the fire

A 19-year-old man has been jailed for a minimum of 14 years after being found guilty of murdering a Nottingham woman by setting fire to her house.

The city's crown court heard William Rowbotham set fire to bins at a home on South Snape Close, Bulwell, in June.

Susie Southern, 53, died and her husband Tony suffered burns and cuts while jumping from a bedroom window.

Rowbotham, of Raymede Drive, Bestwood, had been drinking at a barbeque before the attack. He had denied murder.

The jury also convicted Rowbotham of arson with intent to endanger life and trying to burgle a nearby house.

Quiet grandparents

The court heard Rowbotham, a door-to-door salesman with "limited intellectual functioning", had been asked to leave the barbecue after he had been drinking.

He then filled three bins with firewood, pushed them against the Southerns' front door and and set them alight.

The couple were grandparents who led a quiet life, the court was told.

Rowbotham claimed to have no recollection of the day until he was sitting in a police car - despite having made a 999 call about the fire.

He was given a mandatory life sentence for murder and the judge ordered he serve a minimum of 14 years before being considered for parole.



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SEE ALSO
Man 'murdered woman' in bin fire
13 Jan 10 |  Nottinghamshire
Man on murder charge over fire
28 Jun 09 |  Nottinghamshire

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