A BBC story
A Ugandan man has been jailed in Britain for burning his neighbors to death.
He is guilty of starting a huge fire that killed two men as an act of revenge and has been jailed for life.
Hakeem Kigundu, 32, ignited the flames at the block of flats in Rowe Court, Reading, on 15 December last year.
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Reading Crown Court heard he had been “consumed with rage” about being ordered to leave the building over his persistent anti-social behaviour.
He had pleaded guilty to the murders of Richard Burgess, 46, and Neil Morris, 45, who died in the blaze.
No minimum term was set for Kigundu’s sentence.
Joel Richards, who was seriously injured in the fire and managed to escape by jumping out of a first-floor window, was among the victims to attend the sentencing hearing.
The court was told Kigundu had regularly made his neighbours’ lives a misery by having music on full volume all night, his TV blaring and slamming doors.
This led to him being served with an eviction notice shortly after he lost his job as a BT engineer because of his “erratic behaviour in the workplace”. He blamed both problems on others, rather than himself.
Kigundu, a Ugandan national who entered the UK illegally, recorded a voice note six days before the attack in which he appeared to suggest his neighbours deserved to die.
He bought 50 litres of petrol from three different fuel stations around Reading that he went on to splash around the communal areas of the building he had been living in.
Kigundu drove to Reading police station as residents desperately tried to escape the burning building, confessing to his crime and claiming he had been “full of fury” but now regretted his actions.
Passing sentence, Mr Justice Holgate said he was “sure this was a premeditated attack made by the defendant in revenge”.
“He planned to commit the attack at night because that would reduce the chances of a resident finding the huge amounts of petrol,” the judge said.
“That would also substantially increase the chances of causing death and serious injury.”
He added: “I do not accept that any real remorse has been shown – acceptance of guilt, yes, but not remorse.”
Kigundu had also pleaded guilty to arson with intent to endanger life and two counts of of causing grievous bodily harm.