An arsonist caused more than £144,000 worth of damage after setting fire to two cash machines and a bin while under the influence of drugs.
Ieuan Crofts, 24, used a lighter to set the fires alight at three locations in Bridgend town centre in the early hours of Boxing Day last year.
Police and the fire brigade were called to a Texaco garage in Cowbridge Road, the Asda Superstore in Coychurch Road and to Nolton Street to deal with blazes caused by Crofts, who was arrested shortly afterwards.
When arrested, the defendant told police “I done it mate, take me in, let’s go, I ain’t f****** denying it.”
Prosecutor Marian Lewis told a sentencing hearing at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday heard police were given a description of Crofts, who was wearing a mask and a long sleeved hockey-style shirt with 99 emblazoned on the sleeves.
After reaching the fire in Nolton Road, which had been started in a Biffa bin, police saw Crofts 100 meters away and apprehended him.
He was found in possession of a pink lighter found in his pockets.
The defendant also told police “Yeah I lit some fires, guilty, I done it.”
The court heard extensive damage was caused to the store connected to the Texaco garage, which had to close for repairs the next day. The total loss was £25,638.
The ATM at the Asda Superstore was destroyed and further repair work totaled £77,344 while Barclays Bank had to pay £29,912 for new hardware and installation of the new ATMs.
The total cost of the damage caused as a result of Crofts’ actions totaled £144,235.
Crofts, of St James Road, Wick, Vale of Glamorgan, later pleaded guilty to three counts of arson.
He had four previous convictions including burglary, battery and using threatening words or behaviour.
Defence barrister Susan Ferrier said her client was a “young man troubled by significant and sad events” following the death of his brother and turned to alcohol and substance abuse.
Despite this, Ms Ferrier said the defendant managed to get his own flat and was clean from drink and drugs but he relapsed on Christmas Day after receiving cans of alcohol as presents and was offered three Xanax tablets by a friend.
The barrister added: “His description of events are he struggles to have any memory at all and the next thing he remembers was being at the police station while still under the influence of Xanax.
“He recognises it was a really stupid decision to take those tablets and he’s bitterly sorry to those who have been affected and also of course his own family.”
In his sentencing remarks, Judge Michael Fitton QC said he was not persuaded Crofts could be dealt with by a suspended sentence.
He said: “There were three offences of arson within an hour while you were under the influence of drink and drugs.
“The consequences that might have followed could have been substantially worse. You knew what you were doing.”
Crofts was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment.