Hospital patient, 45, is jailed for five years after setting ward on fire by lighting up a cigarette in bed while on oxygen causing £50,000 damage
- Lee Williams, 45, was on oxygen at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff
- Ignoring the nurses’ warnings, he lit up a cigarette setting the ward on fire
- He ended up in intensive care and almost died while 38 patients were evacuated
- Williams, of Treherbert, Rhondda, South Wales, was jailed for five years
A 45-year old hospital patient who set a ward on fire by lighting up a cigarette while on oxygen, causing a £50,000 damage, has been jailed for five years.
Smoker Lee Williams, 45, from Treherbert, Rhondda, South Wales was repeatedly warned of the dangers but lit up a cigarette causing a fire at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff last May, that did almost £50,000 damage.
He ended up in intensive care and almost died for his ‘act of gross stupidity’.
Thirty-eight patients had to be evacuated from two wards at the 1,000-bed hospital.
Thirty-eight patients had to be evacuated from two wards at the 1,000-bed hospital
A court heard Williams had been given stern instructions at least three times by hospital staff that he was not allowed to smoke.
Williams pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker and arson with intent to endanger life.
A doctor and two nurses received treatment for smoke inhalation and shock after the blaze in Ward C5 which cares for patients with lung and heart conditions.
Cardiff Crown Court heard a nurse had previously found Williams with a lit cigarette but he seemed to be sleeping.
Lee Williams, 45, from Treherbert, Rhondda, South Wales was jailed for five years
Prosecutor Andrew Kendall said: ‘Williams had been in hospital for two weeks and needed oxygen and a nebuliser.
‘A nurse found him smoking in bed and put his smoking materials away in a cupboard before she and a registrar warned him of the dangers because of the oxygen he was being given.
‘He told them he didn’t care and would smoke if he wanted to.’
Cardiff Crown Court heard staff were alerted to a fire in Williams’s cubicle on May 8.
The bed was on fire and Williams had a ‘blackened nose’ and burn injuries to his mouth.
Mr Kendall said: ‘The rooms full of smoke and staff who rushed in needed treatment themselves.
‘An investigation found the cause of the fire was smoking while using an oxygen mask.’
The hospital ward was closed for two weeks while £47,500 of repairs were carried out.
Williams, of Treherbert, Rhondda, South Wales, was jailed for five years.
Judge David Wynn Morgan said: ‘You were told in the clearest terms you could not smoke in the hospital.
He was repeatedly warned of the dangers but lit up a cigarette causing a fire that did £50,000 damage
Lee Williams, 45, was on oxygen at University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff
‘The dangers of fire were made clear to you. Your response was: ‘I don’t care, it is my decision to have a cigarette’.
‘You put at risk the life of the doctor who rushed to treat you, the two nurses who helped, the security staff who put out the fire, and the 38 patients who had to be evacuated in the thick smoke.’
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board said at the time: ‘We would like to thank our staff who were on duty on the ward.
‘Their swift and brave actions ensured that the incident was contained and the majority of patients on the ward were unharmed.’
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