A PROLIFIC arsonist torched two cars then called the fire brigade to his own flat pretending there was a blaze there.

When crews were called out to a Vauxhall Vectra alight at a car park in the Hythe area of Colchester in the middle of the night they saw Anthony Theodosius watching from across the road.

They approached the 27-year-old who told them it was him who called the blaze in.

The officers then put out the fire.

But just 20 minutes later the same crew were tasked back to the same car park after a Ford Galaxy was set alight.

The Vectra was totally destroyed and the Galaxy sustained £1,800 worth of damage.

At 3am on the same morning on April 21 firefighters were called out to a flat in Avon Way, Colchester, where Theodosius lives.

The crew recognised him from their previous meeting and went into the property but found no trace of any issues.

A few weeks later Theodosius again called 999 after he had torched communal bins at his block of flats.

The firebug had previously appeared in court for doing exactly the same thing the year before so was arrested and made admissions about the latest fire and torching the two cars.

He admitted three counts of arson and was jailed for 15 months at Ipswich Crown Court.

Frank O'Toole mitigating said he wanted to issue and unequivocal apology and said he had been using his time whilst remanded in custody to look into his alcohol issues.

He said: "He has referred himself to a treatment programme which looks into his relationship with alcohol and is working towards recognising and improving his understanding of the consequences of his action."

A psychological report dismissed a theory Theodosius had a fire fetish and said his persistent arson could be down to his alcohol use, boredom, loneliness or a desire for thrill seeking.

Judge Rupert Overbury said: "They are all serious offences as you deliberately set fire to other people's property without any regard to the amount of damage which would be caused.

"If you set fire to a car, most will contain fuel and that is capable of causing significant destruction to other vehicles or property nearby.

"It seems every time you drink alcohol you set other people's property on fire and there has to be a deterrent.

"The only way I can do that is via a custodial sentence.

"Somebody who does that can only expect a prison term."