Man who doused partner’s wheelie bins with petrol is jailed for eight months

PUBLISHED: 05:30 13 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:59 13 August 2020

Sean O'Brien, who was jailed for eight months at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Sean O'Brien, who was jailed for eight months at Ipswich Crown Court Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Suffolk police

An Ipswich man who poured petrol over his estranged partner’s wheelie bins and threatened to “light it up” has been jailed by a judge.

Sean O’Brien, 33, showed up at his partner’s home in Downside Close, Ipswich, with a can of petrol on July 11 and was overhead warning her he would “come back later and torch the house”.

Ipswich Crown Court heard that earlier that day, around 5.30pm, O’Brien had kicked a hole in his partner’s living room door before leaving.

His partner then received a phone call from O’Brien’s mother just before 9pm telling her he was on his way back with a can of petrol.

She then called the police and took her two children upstairs.

Philip Farr, prosecuting, said O’Brien was then seen by his partner pouring petrol all over the wheelie bins at the front of the house.

Witnesses overheard O’Brien threatening he would come back later to “light it up” and “torch the house”, Mr Farr said.

O’Brien, of Nansen Road, Ipswich, then left the scene and no attempt was made to light the petrol on the bins, the court heard.

In a victim impact statement read in court, O’Brien’s partner said she did not feel threatened as she knew he would not go through with it and harm their children.

The court heard O’Brien was a recovering drug addict and had turned to alcohol as a way to cope.

Andrew Thompson, defending, said the couple had been in an “on-off relationship” for 14 years.

He said O’Brien’s partner did still want him involved with their children.

O’Brien pleaded guilty to to one charge of threatening to destroy or damage property on Monday and previously admitted criminal damage and breaching a restraining order.

A 12-month restraining order, imposed on July 29 last year, has since expired and no further order was sought, the court heard.

Sentencing O’Brien on Wednesday, Judge Rupert Overbury said: “The physical act of you pouring the petrol over the bins put them in danger. Fortunately, no-one was hurt.”

The judge praised O’Brien for seeking help for his drug addiction but warned him to “steer clear of drink and drugs”.

O’Brien was sentenced to eight months in prison and he will serve half in custody before being released on licence.

An order of no separate penalty was made for the criminal damage of the door and the breach of restraining order.

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