Jan 6 2009 By Steve Still
Ealing woman detained under mental health act
A WOMAN who started a fire at Southall Police Station said she heard voices telling her to do it.
Former Southall resident Helen Wiggins, 39, admitted a charge of arson at Isleworth Crown Court last week. She was detained indefinitely under the Mental Health Act.
Prosecutor Hal Watson told the court that Wiggins, who now lives in Hayes, was caught on CCTV going into a nearby petrol station on August 18 last year and filling a four litre can with petrol before walking to the police station.
"She stood in the waiting area, poured petrol onto the carpet and then set it alight with matches. The carpet ignited quickly and she walked out."
The duty officer was taken around the area in a car until he found Ms Wiggins and identified her.
She was searched and found to have a receipt for the petrol and a box of matches, said counsel.
He said: "She told the officers she heard voices telling her to set fire to the police station.
"A doctor told the court she was suffering from mental illness and was a danger. A bed had been arranged for her in a psychiatric unit.
Making orders under Section 37 and 41 of the Mental Health Act, Judge Richard McGregor-Johnson said: "This was potentially a very serious incident. Fortunately nobody was hurt.
"Given the defendant's mental history I am satisfied these orders are necessary and detention should be without limit of time".
Wiggins denied intending to endanger life.