A MAN accused of setting his neighbour's house on fire has told a jury that CCTV footage of an arsonist is not him.

On the second day of his trial at Bolton Crown Court Isaac Brooks told how he had been "chilling" in his Sandpiper Close, Farnworth, flat, watching videos and was about to go to bed when a blaze broke out at the semi-detached house opposite.

A petrol-like substance has been squirted into the tumble dryer vent at the back of the house and along the wooden decking before being


David Beaver, his wife Beverley Kelly, their two adult, disabled sons, and the family dog managed to escape as flames and thick smoke filled their home.

They had been asleep and Mr Beaver raised the alarm after being woken by a loud bang as the the fire took hold at 1.40am on February 11

The prosecution claim that Brooks bore a grudge against the family and Mr Beaver told the jury how his neighbour would regularly shout: “You f***ing inbreds. I’m going to burn the lot of you.”

Brooks, aged 41, stated that he never shouted abuse at the family but admitted he had "issues with them, claiming they had been watching him.

He denies arson with intent to endanger life and reckless arson.

After the family had moved out because of the extent of the damage, Brooks admitted he cut the CCTV camera wires at Mr Beaver's home.

The fire service had initially told the family that the blaze had been caused by their two-week-old tumble dryer and it was not until four days later that they checked the CCTV hard drive.

An insurance investigator found traces of petrol in a drink bottle on decking at the back of the house and, when CCTV was viewed, it showed a man climbing over the 6ft high fence at the back of the property, into the garden.

He then went to the back of the house, squirted a liquid into the vent and along the decking and fled back over the fence as flames took hold.

Days after the fire a neighbour, Paul Kerrigan, heard Brooks outside singing "Simply the best" and "Burn baby burn, disco inferno".

"Was that you being cocky, letting people know what you had done?" asked Wayne Jackson, during cross examination.

"No," replied Brooks, adding that he did not know the songs.

Investigators found petrol in a washing up bottle at Brooks' flat, but he told the court that it was to use in a lawnmower or strimmer.

"It was left over from little odd jobs I'd been doing," he said.

Following closing speeches by Mr Jackson and Kevin Liston, defending, the Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh summed up the evidence and the jury retired to begin considering their verdicts.

They will continue deliberating today.