A SCARED neighbour has revealed he heard “banging and crashing” and was unable to sleep before an alleged arsonist starting a fire in his bedroom.

Olayinka Huthman is standing trial for allegedly starting a fire at a multiple occupancy house in Hastings Road, Southend on May 6 last year.

The 33-year-old denies arson with intent to danger life and arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered.

On Friday, another resident living in the home said Huthman was “banging and crashing” in his room for hours.

He said: “On May 5 I had come home from work at about 9pm and when I started to relax in my room I noticed a continual banging coming from Huthman’s room.

“I could not work out what was going on, it sounded like he was either trying to fix something or trying to destroy something.

“Nobody said anything about the noise which continued until about 2pm and by then it had got worse and myself and another resident came out of our rooms.

“Sometimes it slowed down and got quieter and at times the noise increased in volume and speed.”

The fire was started the following day on May 6.

Richard Scott, prosecuting, previously told the jury Huthman owed the landlord £800 in rent.

The relationship between the landlord and Huthman allegedly soured after a letter was put under Huthman’s asking for the rent.

The neighbour added: “The other resident was shouting Huthman’s name and telling him the noise had to stop and the police had been called.

“The banging stopped for about five or 10 minutes and then it resumed again.

“Around 4 and 5am I heard a sound like heavy glass smashing as if it had been dropped on the floor or dropped from a window.

“I was trying to get to sleep but I couldn’t. I was scared.”

He told the court on May 6 he left the property for exercise between 8.30am and 9am but didn’t return home until after he became aware of the fire.

He said he quickly checked to see if everything was ok in the house before leaving but did not notice anything out of the ordinary.

The trial continues.