A MAN who endangered the lives of a Lochgelly family after driving a stolen car into their house and setting it on fire has been jailed for seven years.

Michael Reddington, 38, caused an immediate explosion when he ignited the vehicle after colliding with a garage attached to the property on Station Road.

A judge was shown footage of the incident and told Reddington: "This was cowardly and despicable offending."

Lord Arthurson said at the High Court in Edinburgh that it appeared a considerable amount of planning was involved in the crime.

And he told the main in the dock he'd have faced a 10-year-jail sentence but for his guilty plea.

Central Fife Times: The car was driven into the property on Station Road in Lochgelly and then deliberately set alight. Photo: Fife Jammer Locations.The car was driven into the property on Station Road in Lochgelly and then deliberately set alight. Photo: Fife Jammer Locations. (Image: Fife Jammer Locations)

Reddington, formerly of Cowdenbeath, admitted culpably and recklessly driving a car into the property in Lochgelly, causing damage and then setting fire to the vehicle to the danger of the lives of two adults and three young children on February 8 this year.

The court heard that the day after the crime he was shown a news story about the fire and said: "That was a good job then. I done well.

"The boy shouldn't have called me a s---bag."

Advocate depute David Dickson said the couple were in bed when they were awakened about 10.45pm by a loud bang.

They saw a car on fire in the driveway which appeared to have collided with the garage door.

The father ran outside and tried to tackle the blaze with a garden hose while the rest of the family got out of the house.

Mr Dickson said: "The fire continued to develop, to such an extent that it set alight the timber frame of the garage."

"(The father) ran back inside the house and in an effort to move the burning vehicle away from his house he drove his own car through the closed garage door at force and into the burning car."

"In doing so he managed to move the burning vehicle off his driveway, " said the prosecutor.

A passing motorist saw the burning Vauxhall Insignia and alerted the emergency services. The burnt out saloon car was found to have recently been reported as stolen.

CCTV footage revealed the car was driven at speed towards the house and collided with the garage door.

A male emerged from the driver's door with a cigarette in his mouth.

He was seen to lift a fuel container and poured petrol inside the vehicle. The male then appears to remove the cigarette from his mouth and puts it in the vehicle or uses a lighter, causing an immediate explosion in the car and resulting in a large fire, said Mr Dickson.

He added: "The male runs away from the vehicle and it can be seen his left hand is on fire."

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Police checked with local petrol stations and found that the stolen car was driven onto a garage forecourt 15 minutes before the fire and another man filled the fuel canister.

Officers later traced Reddington and noticed he had recent injuries to both his hands and singed eyebrows and stubble.

He denied any involvement in the offence when interviewed by police.

Defence counsel John Brannigan said the unemployed plumber has "deep regret and remorse" for what occurred.

He said that although his client has a criminal record it was the first time he has been convicted in the High Court.

Reddington has been held in Perth Prison since February 10 following an initial appearance at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.