An arsonist who burned down a barn has made such good progress after working with probation that he has been allowed to volunteer as a firefighter.
Simon Moulder, 20, was ordered to receive supervision and support at a residential centre in North Devon for his learning and behavioural problems after he admitted the £7,600 arson last year.
A Judge congratulated him on his progress after hearing how he now works on a farm and at a kitchen and is a volunteer training to be a retained firefighter in Hatherleigh.
Moulder has overcome problems caused by the attention deficit disorder ADHD with the help of adult care services after living at supported communities at Ashwater and Oakley House in North Devon.
He is currently doing well at West Fishleigh, near Hatherleigh, where he is helping on the farm and learning cooking.
He was ordered to receive supervision at Exeter Crown Court after he admitted an arson at Oak Park Farm, Beaworthy in June 2011 in which 30 bales of straw were destroyed.
He set light to the barn because he was left with nothing to do during a one day teacher’s strike. At the time he was in care at nearby Henford.
His case was brought back to Exeter Crown Court by the probation service because they were concerned that an order that he receive help from the mental health service had not been complied with.
Judge Graham Cottle ordered Bideford-based consultant psychiatrist Dr Alison Collins to come to court to explain why a treatment plan has not been put in place.
He praised Moulder’s efforts after hearing how he was excelling in supervision despite not receiving support from the health service.
The judge said: "It is extremely unsatisfactory he has not received this support. It is not the defendant’s fault at all. His performance under this order has been extremely good and the residential requirement complied with very well.
“The problem is with the mental health requirement and someone has to take ownership of it. The defendant is not experiencing mental health problems at the moment and is taking medication and is stable.
“The fact that his mental health has worked out so well is purely good fortune and he is to be congratulated for the work he has done with his carers.
“The court needs to know what the mental health service are going to do about this case.”
Moulder was not represented but told the Judge his problems of ADHD and anger management have been helped by the support he has received and the work he does at the farm.
He said: "I have only had one contact with the mental health team, which was in Okehampton in June and the doctor said he did not need to see me again.
“With my ADHD I am being helped to control it through farming and cooking. The different textures and smells help to control the ADHD.
“For the first couple of months I was at a residential centre but now I am at a farm and doing voluntary work which helps me to control my anger. I have also started doing retained fore service work in Hatherleigh.
“I am living on a farm and in time I will learn to look after myself and I may be able to move to a flat in Hatherleigh. It is going really well but I would like mental health support because it could turn, just like that.”