A FORMER psychiatric nurse has been locked up in a mental health unit after starting fires at a block of flats she had been evicted from.

Oyeronke Adigun, aged 47, used petrol cans to start three fires outside the flats in Main Road, Biggin Hill, on February 21, and damaged the intercom system with a hammer on February 14.

She was sentenced to treatment at a mental health unit today (July 19) at Woolwich Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to a charge of arson recklessly endangering life and criminal damage.

Judge Peter Murphy made an order that Adigun, from Nigeria, cannot be released until doctors and the court are satisfied she no longer poses a risk of harm to the public.

Prosecutor Stephen Clayton told the court Adigun, who worked as a psychiatric nurse at Mayday Hospital in Croydon, was evicted from the flats after complaints of noise and anti-social behaviour.

He said: “Having lost her tenancy, she harboured a grudge and decided to seek revenge by damaging the property and trying to burn it down.”

Mr Clayton said that in the early hours of February 21, Adigun used petrol, paper and a lighter to start two fires in bins under the block of flats and one blaze outside an access door on the ground floor.

Nobody was injured in the fire, and Adigun was arrested later that day. Mr Clayton said Adigun had also tried to start fires at the flats on several previous occasions, travelling there via minicab from her home in Campshill Road, Lewisham, and stopping on the way to buy petrol cans.

He said she would make her attempts “in the early hours of the morning, when the tenants were asleep” and would “press the buzzer, trying to get into the block of flats”.

Adigun was transferred to the mental health unit on April 6, after being held in police custody since her arrest, and has since lost her job at Mayday Hospital, the court heard.

Dr Janet Parrott, a consultant forensic psychiatrist at the unit, who is responsible for Adigun’s treatment, told the court she has a “serious mental illness” and suffers from paranoia and depression.

Sentencing Adigun, Judge Murphy said: “This is a very sad case because you were a woman of not only good character but exemplary character before this matter.

“And it’s quite obvious to me that you would not have committed any criminal offence in the normal way apart from under the illness you have been suffering.”

He added: “I have concluded that at the present time there is, in fact, a serious danger of harm to the public because you are suffering still from these paranoid beliefs, which may cause you, in my judgment, to try once again to cause harm to others or set fire to property.”