Dale Roberts, of Bury St Edmunds, jailed after dousing former girlfriend in petrol and threatening to set her alight

Dale Roberts

Dale Roberts - Credit: Archant

A 27-year-old man who poured petrol over a woman and threatened to set her alight has been jailed for nine years.

After beating up his former partner Lisa Wood, Dale Roberts had poured petrol over her and then stood over her flicking a cigarette lighter, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Sentencing Roberts Judge John Holt said: “You took a cigarette lighter which you flicked a couple of times. Each time the wind blew out your lighter before it could light the petrol.

“The jury was sure you intended to light the petrol and cause at the very least serious burns to your victim. She was terrified.”

He said she had been forced to repeatedly wash her hair to get rid of the petrol and she had also thrown away the clothes she had been wearing because they were in such a dreadful state.

Judge Holt said that when Roberts left the scene after he had threatened to burn down his former partner’s house resulting in the property being evacuated for the rest of the night.

He said he was satisfied that Roberts posed a risk to members of the public of serious harm by the commission of further serious offences in the future and in addition to jailing him he made him the subject of an extended licence period of five years.

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Roberts, of Tollgate Lane, Bury St Edmunds was convicted of attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent, assault causing actual bodily harm and threatening to cause criminal damage after a trial in February.

During the trial the court heard the victim returned to her Bury St Edmunds home to find Roberts sitting in a vehicle parked outside.

Moments later he punched her in the face and she fell to the ground where he punched and kicked her.

Roberts then doused her in petrol from a Jerry can and stood over her with a lighter which he flicked to spark.

It was only the intervention of another man that prevented any further assault and Roberts threatened to burn the victim’s house down before driving away.

The victim sustained bruising and swelling to her face and cuts to the inside of her lips.

Following the attack on August 16 last year police posted Roberts as wanted. He was arrested in Ipswich on September 2 and was subsequently charged.

Mark Roochove, for Roberts said although his client maintained his innocence he acknowledged that if anyone was to do such acts it would be very dangerous.

“Pouring petrol over someone and threatening to ignite it is a serious matter,” said Mr Roochove.