A man who endangered the lives of a Lochgelly family after driving a stolen car into their property and setting it on fire has failed in a bid to have his prison sentence cut.

Michael Reddington, 38, caused an immediate explosion when he ignited the vehicle after colliding with a garage attached to the home in February.

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

Lord Arthurson said at the High Court in Edinburgh in June that it appeared a considerable amount of planning was involved in the crime and jailed him for seven years.

He told Reddington that he would have faced a 10-year sentence but for his guilty plea.

Reddington 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.

His lawyers believed the 10-year headline sentence was "excessive" and went to the Court of Criminal Appeal in a bid to have it reduced.

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

Defence advocate John Brannigan said the term reflected a sentence given to somebody who had been convicted of attempted murder and not culpable and reckless conduct.

He added that his client had a “relatively limited” criminal record.

In a written judgment published on Tuesday, the appeal judges rejected Mr Brannigan’s submissions.

Lord Boyd wrote that their colleague Lord Arthurson had acted correctly in deciding that a 10-year headline sentence was appropriate.

He wrote: “While we accept the charge is not one of attempted murder the fact is that the appellant’s conduct put the lives of a family, including children, in danger.

“It was not impulsive but required a substantial amount of planning.

“Had it not been for the quick thinking of the householder in driving his own car through the closed garage door, pushing the burning vehicle away from the house, the damage to the property might well have been much more substantial.

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“We agree with the sentencing judge that the level of culpability in this case is high.

“For these reasons we do not consider that the headline sentence selected by the sentencing judge was excessive.”

In the earlier proceedings, the court heard how Reddington 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."

Prosecutor David Dickson said family members were in bed when they were awakened about 10.45pm by a loud bang coming from the garage.

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.

A passing motorist saw the burning Vauxhall Insignia and alerted the emergency services.

The burnt out car was found to have stolen.

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

A male then 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.

Mr Dickson said the male then appeared to remove the cigarette from his mouth, or a lighter, and put it in the vehicle. This caused an immediate explosion.

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

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 singed eyebrows and stubble.

At the appeal court hearing, Mr Brannigan also argued that a lifetime driving ban was excessive.

He said Reddington was a plumber and wished to gain full-time employment on his release from prison.

He said the inability to drive would “significantly impair” his ability to get a job and this wound “hinder” his rehabilitation.

The appeal court agreed and reduced the driving ban to 15 years.