An arsonist has been found guilty of setting fire to his own canal boat with a cigarette butt.

James Jonas was found guilty after a trial at Oxford Crown Court of several offences, including one count of arson with recklessness as to whether life was endangered.

The 38-year-old set his boat, The Happy Go Lucky, on fire on August 19 last year in the Duke’s Cut Waterway canal near Gosford after a dispute with his neighbour, David Hartland.

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A jury that Jonas owned Mr Hartland money and the pair had an informal agreement that if he didn’t pay, Mr Hartland would take ownership of his boat.

Jonas, of Woodstock Road, Oxford, was also charged with one count each of assault by beating of Mr Hartland, assault of an emergency worker, assault occasioning actual bodily harm of William Cross and intimidation of Mr Hartland knowing he would be a witness in impending proceedings.

He pleaded guilty to the assault of an emergency worker and the assault occasioning actual bodily harm of Mr Cross a day before the jury retired.

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They then found him guilty of the remaining counts on Tuesday (April 23).

His case has now been adjourned for sentencing to take place at the same court on June 7 under Judge Ian Pringle.

Jonas will remain in custody until the sentencing.