AN ARSONIST is to be assessed for the danger he potentially posses to the public after he was convicted of torching a woman’s home.

Paul Whiting, 65, of Christchurch Road, Newport, was found guilty of arson following a four-day trial at Cardiff Crown Court.

A jury cleared him of the more serious charge of arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Prosecutor Clare Wilkes told the jury Whiting carried out the attack on March 26 in Newport.

A court order prevents the reporting of the victim’s name or address.


Whiting, who was defended by Ruth Smith, had denied both charges and claimed the blaze broke out accidentally.

After the jury found the defendant guilty, the judge, Recorder Paul Lewis QC said: “This is a serious matter and I am particularly concerned about the level of risk he poses to the public.

“Anyone who sets fire to a dwelling house needs to assessed for dangerousness.”

The judge ordered a psychiatric report to be prepared on Whiting and adjourned sentence to November 27.

The defendant was remanded in custody.

He thanked the jury for their carrying out their public duty before he discharged them.