A GALASHIELS woman who started a fire at the front door of a flat to give the occupier "the frights" has been jailed for 10 months at Jedburgh Sheriff Court.

Kirsty Lawrence, 33, of Galabank Street, pleaded guilty to setting fire to paper in the stairwell of a property in Jura Drive, Tweedbank, causing damage to the flooring and paintwork.

She admitted wilful fire-raising on March 12.

Procurator fiscal Graham Fraser told Jedburgh Sheriff Court that Lawrence had earlier knocked on the door of the top floor flat and asked the occupier for a cigarette but was told she didn't have any.

Shortly after midnight Lawrence told a friend she was going to start a fire through the woman's letter box.

But the letter box was sealed and instead she lit a bit of paper and started the fire on the floor outside the flat.

Mr Fraser said that when the flat owner opened the door she could see that a piece of newspaper had been set on fire.

She managed to put it out and the police were called.

Mr Fraser said:"She told police she had wanted to give the woman the frights.

"She said she got a bit of paper alight but she knew she was not in."

But Mr Fraser added that she knew that was false because she had asked her for a cigarette earlier on.

The fiscal said that while it was not a successful attempt to start a fire he added:"It was an attemptand the risk if the fire had taken hold would have been considerable."

There was damaging to the flooring and blistering to the walls as a result of the paper fire.

Defence lawyer Ross Dow said:"She accepts it is a serious matter.  She stood on the paper before she left. It was one sheet of paper and she just intended to give her a fright."