A man who started a massive blaze at a block of Aberdeen flats by setting fire to his guitar – which he thought was talking to him – has been jailed.
Stefan Kubina, 34, who had taken a gram of amphetamine sulphate, also known as speed, was snared after a bystander spotted him covered in soot.
The blaze on Richmond Walk caused damage worth more than £385,000.
And yesterday at Aberdeen Sheriff Court Kubina was jailed for a total of 45 months.
Sheriff Morag McLaughlin described it as an “extremely serious matter that had significant consequences”, adding it could potentially have been “significantly worse”.
She told him: “There were five people in the building other than yourself when that fire was set and it’s good fortune rather than anything else that they managed to escape uninjured.”
She imposed a 12-month supervised release order on top of his jail term.
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Kubina, a prisoner of HMP Perth, previously pled guilty to wilful fireraising over the incident. He also admitted two separate charges of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner, as well as culpable and reckless conduct and wilfully or recklessly destroying or damaging property belonging to someone else.
Defence agent Stuart Beveridge said: “Mr Kubina is very sorry for the effect this had, particularly on his neighbours. He accepts a huge amount of damage was ultimately caused. He is very ashamed of his behaviour.”
He said his client had experienced “hallucinations” at the time due to drugs he had taken.
Mr Beveridge explained that, after starting the fire, Kubina “opened a window to allow smoke to leave and in doing that effectively turned the flat into a chimney and the fire spread”.
Aberdeen Sheriff Court previously heard a neighbour in the block at Richmond Walk called 999 after spotting flames coming from Kubina’s top floor flat on February 12 this year.
Fiscal depute Colin Neilson told the court: “The accused took his guitar and set it alight using a lighter. He sat and watched it burn and did not try to put the fire out.
“The fire spread and the accused took his laptop and other items and left the locus.”
Mr Neilson said Kubina had been taking drugs and his guitar “began talking to him”.
He told the court a woman took a photo of Kubina walking away “covered in soot”.
Kubina went to Aberdeen Rail Station and told British Transport Police staff he needed to get to Glasgow as his flat was on fire and he had nowhere to stay.
Emergency services declared the fire a major incident, the court heard. More than 20 firefighters were called and fire chiefs had to close roads.