A BASINGSTOKE man who wanted to kill himself by setting fire to his flat caused “great upset and loss” to his neighbours, a judge has said.

Dean Puttock, 37, had set fire to a combustible material in his third-floor apartment on Netherfield Place, Priestley Road, on April 6, this year, causing £750,000 worth of damage.

On Thursday Puttock was given a two-year community order having appeared at Winchester Crown Court earlier this week.

On Monday the court was told he had to be rescued by the fire service out of the six-storey building after flames were seen coming from his lounge window.

Puttock was arrested and told officers he had planned to take his own life after a relationship breakdown which sparked a “terrible blip” in his life.

In the week before the incident, he made several threats and attempts to take his own life, and on one occasion posted on social media “I don’t normally post stuff, but people need to know, police just broke down my door. Tomorrow I will be in a police cell or dead. I loved you all.”

Defending Adrienne Knight said that being in custody for six months, since the incident, had been a “terrible shock to the system”.

She continued: “He is certainly somebody that needs support, sadly if he had got support when he had his breakdown none of this would have happened.”

The court was told that on release Puttock will be going to live with a family friend in Bury Road, Gosport.

“The moment he is released from prison he is going to be supported. He will leave here knowing there is somebody there for him,” Ms Knight said.

In sentencing, His Honour Judge Keith Cutler had already indicated that Puttock would be given a community order.

Judge Cutler also ordered the defendant to complete 30 rehabilitation days and 60 hours unpaid work.

He said: “You obviously realise you have pleaded guilty to a serious offence this caused not only enormous damage, not just from the fire but water damage from the fire service attending, and from that incident caused great harm and great stress to the people living in those flats.

“You didn’t have that in your mind, you were concentrating on your own distress. It was a part of a suicide attempt.”

Puttock was previously charged with arson with intent to endanger life and criminal damage, but these charges were dropped, and he pleaded guilty to arson at an earlier hearing.