A 40-year-old man who deliberately set fire to his flat after leaving a suicide note was today, Monday, jailed for three years nine months.

After lighting the blaze in his flat in a two storey building divided into four occupied flats, at Belvedere Close, Higher Folds, Leigh, Jason Spivey dialled 999 Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Police officers arrived at the scene and found that Spivey had barricaded the front door of his first floor home, said Arthur Gibson, prosecuting.

They forced their way in and used two extinguishers to put out the fire. Spivey made remarks about a woman and also said that someone had claimed he was a paedophile.

When the scene was examined by fire officers they found that the fire had been started in a bucket of white spirit by the toilet area.

Questioned Spivey denied starting the blaze and claimed it resulted from someone pushing something through his letter box, said Mr Gibson.

Spivey pleaded guilty to arson being reckless whether life was endangered on February 19.

Katy Apppleton, defending, said that Spivey, a father-of-two is remorseful. After being made redundant from his job as a glass worker in 2010 and his father dying he began substance abuse.

He does not recall starting the fire or writing the note but accepts it is his writing. He had accelerants in the house because he had been decorating and fortunately the fire did not spread to the other flats.

Spivey has been diagnosed with mental health issues but is now abstaining from alcohol and drugs, she said.

Judge Robert Warnock said that the offence was so serious a custodial sentence had to be imposed. He said that the offence followed "the complete collapse of your life."