A drunken ned told cops he torched a motor because the coronavirus lockdown was driving him mad.

Dean Muir deliberately set the 2005 Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Warrior on fire in a quiet country lane.

He was caught because householder Marie Cunningham captured him acting suspiciously on the farm’s security cameras.

She called the Scottish Fire Service to deal with the blaze and gave police a description of Muir and what he was wearing.

Officers on patrol in nearby Mid Calder, West Lothian, spotted Muir, 28, and arrested him.

Kate Irwin, prosecuting, said when officers cautioned Muir he told them: “My mental health made me do it. This lockdown is driving me mad!”

She said the vehicle suffered extensive damage to the bodywork which cost £2,000 to repair. Firefighters said the fire had been started deliberately.

Muir, 28, of Livingston, pled guilty to wilfully setting fire to the car at Pumpherston Farm Cottage, Mid Calder on 29 May.

The prosecution accepted a not guilty plea to a second wilful fire raising charge relating to a refuse bin in Gasworks Brae, Mid Calder.

Dean Muir pled guilty to wilfully setting fire to the car

Jack Walker, defending, said his client had no recollection of committing the offence. He explained: “He had a considerable amount of alcohol that day.

“He recognises that he is extremely fortunate that there were no other consequences of his actions. Nobody was hurt, nor did the fire spread.

“That said, it remains a very serious offence and Mr Muir accepts that. He was struggling due to the lockdown period and he also suffers from ADHD.

“It seems to me the major factor here  was the quantity of alcohol he’d consumed and it’s somewhat concerning he has no recollection of his behaviour.

Dean Muir deliberately set the 2005 Mitsubishi Shogun Sport Warrior on fire

“However, he doesn’t regard his drinking as problematic at present and he tells me his life is more stable again. He certainly doesn’t want to appear before the courts again.”

Mr Walker suggested that supervision could help Muir cope better with situations such as a period of lockdown in future.

Sheriff Douglas Kinloch said the very real question facing him was whether he could deal with the accused’s “incomprehensible” crime without imposing a prison sentence.

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He told Muir: “This appears to have been wanton vandalism and destruction of property which is just impossible to understand… and you claim that you can’t remember doing it.

“It’s very, very close to a case where there is just no other way of dealing with this other than by a prison sentence but, with a lot of hesitation, I’m going to impose an alternative to imprisonment. In the hope that in the long run it will do more to change the way you’ve been behaving than a prison sentence.

“I therefore propose putting you under supervision to give you professional help if required with your excessive drinking.

“You’ll also carry out unpaid work to put something back into the community and you’ll have your liberty restricted by means of an electronic tag.”

Dean Muir was caught acting suspiciously on the farm’s security cameras.

He placed Muir under supervision for 18 months, ordered him to carry out 135 hours of unpaid work within a year and imposed a four month restriction of liberty order.

In addition he made a requirement that the accused, who is on benefits, should pay £300 compensation to the owner of the vehicle at the rate of £15 per fortnight.

He warned Muir that if he failed to comply with any element of the community sentence he would be brought back to court to face a likely prison sentence.