Andrew Wilding set fire to the home he shared with his mother, Elsie, knowing there was no chance she would be able to get out of the building alive. He also put the lives of neighbors at risk with his actions.
The man was first marked as a witness at the time of the fire. He claimed that the battery fire was an accident. However, investigative evidence suggested otherwise.
Officers discovered internet searches being carried out in the lead-up to the fire that suspiciously pointed to the incident. During the investigation, police found evidence of internet searches about fires, arson, murders, and batteries involved in fires.
Detective chief inspector Stuart Truss said that Wilding’s “greed led to him setting a fire in the home he shared with his mother.” He was seeking his mother’s life insurance pay-outs, and took her life so that he could have the chance to collect them for himself.
Jurors found Wilding guilty of murder and arson following a trial, Essex Police said. They said Wilding took away from Elsie the chance to enjoy her later years.
The arsonist expressed that he understood occupants were living above his mother’s apartment, which led to him being found guilty of endangering life.
After being found guilty of murder by the jury, he appeared in the dock of the same court wearing a lilac Puma jumper over a white shirt and glasses. This time, he would hear personal statements from those impacted by his criminal actions.
Prosecution counsel Andrew Jackson read out two personal statements, the first from Paul Pinder, Elsie’s son. Paul said he had nightmares of trying to pull his mother out of the fire.
On Friday, Wilding was sentenced to a life sentence and must serve 27 years before he can be considered for release. He maintained his innocence throughout the trial.