A MAN who set fire to his flat in a suicide bid is to receive mental health treatment in the community.

Stephen Conway, of Russ Avenue, Faringdon, admitted one count of arson reckless as to whether life was endangered on Tuesday, July 2 last year.

The 37-year-old, who suffers from bipolar disorder and had stopped taking his medication, started a fire in the first floor flat where he still lives.

Judge Patrick Eccles, sitting at Oxford Crown Court yesterday, said no one was injured in the fire but people had to evacuate the building.

Dr Sukhjeet Lally from the Littlemore Mental Health Hospital said he thought if Conway was sent to prison there would be “a very high likelihood of a relapse of his bipolar disorder”.

Judge Eccles said Conway could not be held completely responsible for his actions and gave him a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, with a mental health treatment requirement. He must also carry out 80 hours of unpaid work and pay a £100 victims’ surcharge.

  • Our top stories: