Jail for killer of Fleur Lombard

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The Independent Online
Security guard Martin Cody was yesterday jailed for seven-and-a-half years for the manslaughter of firefighter Fleur Lombard, who died in a blaze he had started.

Miss Lombard, 21, one of only eight women among Avon's 700 firefighters, was the first woman to die in peacetime service in Britain.

Sentencing Cody, also 21, Mr Justice Tuckey, sitting at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, said the reason for his behaviour, which psychiatrists agreed was not rooted in mental illness, lay in emotional conflict.

Mitigating, Cody's counsel, David Spens QC, said he was still very young and had no history of fire-starting or any other criminal behaviour. He had been convicted of "simple arson" and manslaughter, and it was accepted by the prosecution that he did not intend to endanger life or was reckless in that respect, and never envisaged anyone might be put at risk.

"Although he was seen punching the air with his clenched fist and shouting `yes' after the fire started, once the dreadful news reached him, he became solemn and there was no exhilaration."