A man deliberately set fire to his room in a hotel in a "revenge" attack after being kicked out because of his behaviour, a court has heard.

Most of Rhys Bowden's fellow guests fled the property after the alarm was raised - but one person was trapped in his room, and had to be rescued from a balcony by firefighters.

Giving the defendant an extended sentence for public protection, a judge said he had no doubt he posed a serious risk to others.

Bowden had prevoiusly been convicted at trial of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered when he appeared in the dock of Swansea Crown Court via videolink for sentencing.

The court heard the 27-year-old was living at the Sandpiper Hotel on Swansea seafront in March last year when he was asked to leave because he had been taking drugs in his room, and inviting other people back to his accomodation.

He left the Osytermouth Road premises as requested but returned a short time later, re-entered his old room, and set fire to the bed.

Rhys Bowden
Rhys Bowden

Staff and residents were alerted to the blaze by an alarm, and the building was evacuated. Firefighters were soon on the scene, and one resident had to be rescued from the balcony of his room.

Craig Jones, prosecuting, said it was the Crown's position that the fire-starting had been an act of "revenge" on the part of the defendant for having been asked to leave the hotel.

Bowden, now of no fixed abode, was convicted after trial in September last year but sentencing was adjourned for reports.

The court heard he has 15 previous convictions for 41 offences including for affray, burglary, possession of an offensive weapon, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, shoplifting, possession of Class A drugs, dangerous driving, battery, public order matters, and witness intimidation.

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Andrew Evans, for Bowden said the reason the defendant had come into conflict with the criminal justice system so frequently during his life was his misuse of controlled substances. He said after the inevitable term of imprisonment his client was facing he wanted, with the help of his father, to find stable accommodation and to become a positive member of society.

Recorder John Philpotts said he agreed with a pre-sentence report into the defendant which concluded Bowden was a dangerous offender who posed a serious risk of harm to others.

The defendant was given an eight-year extended sentence comprising six years in custody and two years on licence. Bowden can apply for release after two-thirds of the custodial element of the sentence but it will be for the Parole Board to decide whether he can be let out before serving the full term.