A MAN who set his living room curtains on fire was making a cry for help, a court heard.

Bolton Crown Court was told how Darren Lewis, who suffers from mental health problems, put out the flames by throwing a glass of water at them a few seconds later.

At the time, on September 22 last year, 46-year-old Lewis’s former partner and two children were in the terraced property in Barsham Drive, Deane.

Lewis pleaded guilty to committing arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Nicoletta Amatino, prosecuting, said: “He admitted having started the fire but had no intention of hurting anyone else.”

Judge Timothy Stead was told that Lewis had been depressed after arguing with his former partner.

“He said he had done it as a cry for help in the hope that social services would help him,” said Miss Amatino.

Virginia Hayton, defending, said Lewis has now been evicted from his home but he is engaging with a multi-agency package put in place to support him.

Judge Stead decided to defer sentencing Lewis until April 19 to give him chance to prove he can stay out of trouble and work well with the services helping him.

“It is down to you,” the judge told Lewis.

“I do appreciate you have have a number of very serious difficulties in your life. I don’t particularly relish the possibility of having to send you to prison.”