Patient set hospital bed on fire by smoking while wearing an oxygen mask

A hospital patient who set his bed on fire by smoking while wearing an oxygen mask has been jailed.

Lee Williams, 44, caused almost £50,000 of damage when he lit up while he was receiving oxygen.

As the ensuing thick smoke took hold, several people had to be evacuated from University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.

Williams admitted assaulting an emergency worker and arson with intent to endanger life at Cardiff Crown Court.

He was jailed for five years.

The court heard that in May 2019, Williams was an inpatient at the hospital and that for his treatment he needed oxygen.

Andrew Kendall, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said he had been in hospital for two weeks and was repeatedly warned by nurses after he was found smoking.

The court heard Williams told officials that he “did not care” about their warnings.

The patient later spat on one nurse after an altercation.

On the day of the fire, May 8, staff on the ward were alerted to the incident in William’s cubicle.

When they attended, they found a growing blaze on his bed.

Williams sustained injuries to his mouth and had a “blackened nose”.

He needed emergency treatment following the incident.

The court heard that damage to the value of almost £47,500 meant the ward was forced to close for two weeks and 38 patients had to be moved.

Williams was also sentenced for another charge relating to an air rifle.