TICKER: Horror: Woman sets self on fire after failing driving lesson 90 times

A mother who was left distraught after she failed her driving test for the fourth time endangered others when she tried to commit suicide by setting fire to herself.

Yamkala Sapkota made the attempt on her own life when, despite spending thousands on 90 driving lessons, she was still deemed to be below the standard required to pass her test.

The news sparked an argument between Sapkota and her husband Yadumen who told her to ‘die if you want to’ before he left for work in the morning.

Following his departure, the 30-year-old set herself alight after leaving a suicide note penned in her native Nepalese, saying she no longer wanted to live.

A neighbour saw Sapkota ablaze in her flat in Gordon Street, in the Leith area of Edinburgh and called the fire service.

Using breathing apparatus firefighters managed to rescue the semi-conscious woman who had suffered burns to her face, back and arms.

Sapkota earlier admitted culpably and recklessly starting the fire, severely injuring herself and endangering the lives of others as well as property on June 28 last year.

Judge Lord Bannatyne told her: ‘I have decided to take the unusual course in a High Court case to defer sentence for one year for you to be of good behaviour.’

He said that if she did behave he intended to deal with her in a non-custodial manner to allow her to prove that the incident really was out of character.

But he warned that if she was not of good behaviour he would deal with the case ‘in a different fashion’.

He also said he had noted the background to the offence which he described as ‘somewhat unusual’.

He pointed out that there were no previous convictions and she had committed no offences since. He added: ‘I believe it is highly unlikely you will ever offend again.’

Defence counsel Sarah Livingstone said Sapkota had described herself as being out of her mind.

She said: ‘In her state of mind she was trying to harm herself and no one else.’

Sapkota and her husband moved to Britain eight years and he secured a job as a chef.

Prosecuting Stephen O’Rourke told the High Court in Edinburgh that on the day of the incident her husband Yadumen had left her very upset when he told her to ‘die if you want’ before leaving for work.

The prosecutor said: ‘The immediate motivator behind the incident was the fact that the accused had failed to pass her driving test for the fourth time that morning, after taking over 90 lessons.

‘She was very upset about this and an argument followed between her and her husband which led to the comment.

‘The family’s financial circumstances were limited and it appears that the cost of the lessons were significant in that regard.’

After the alarm was raised by the 999 call, police arrived and could see smoke coming from under the door of the flat.

As officers evacuated the building, a police officer managed to force open the door but as he went into the hall he was stopped from going any further by the heat.

Firefighters wearing breathing gear managed to reach Sapkota and she was taken out of the flat and paramedics gave her morphine and oxygen as she was taken to hospital.

Mr O’Rourke said the fire, which posed no immediate danger to other properties, was put out.

Sapkota suffered 12 per cent burns to her face, head, neck, shoulder, right arm and back and under went operations to graft skin.

She was also psychiatrically assessed but was diagnosed as not suffering from any mental illness.

Ms Livingstone said the scarring to Sapkota’s back was ‘horrendous’ and she had to wear a special suit. Doctors took the view that she will be permanently scarred.

Daily Mail

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