Man became aggressive after trying to be part of couple’s lives, court told

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ipswich Crown Court. Picture: GREGG BROWN

A man who repaid the kindness of an Ipswich couple who put a roof over his head by stalking them and starting a fire in a wheelie bin outside their home will be sentenced tomorrow.

Tania and Genci Bytyci, of Pine View Road, Ipswich, had initially allowed their old friend Astrit Mala to stay with them for a few days while he “sorted himself out” but he ended up staying several months, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

By February last year Mala was living elsewhere but he started visiting the couple’s home to use their internet and other facilities, said Karl Voltz, prosecuting.

Mala started pestering the couple by visiting them and hanging around outside their home three or four times a week and Mr and Mrs Bytyci became increasingly uncomfortable.

“The defendant wanted coffee and chats and wanted to be part of their lives and they weren’t prepared for that,” said Mr Voltz.

In May last year there was a doorstep argument and the police were called after Mala became aggressive.

Mala continued to turn up on the couple’s doorstep and loiter near their house and in early July he turned up at their house at midnight and was told to go away and not to come back.

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On July 4 he visited the house again and the police were called after he became aggressive and two days later he told a mutual friend he wanted to kill the couple and that he was serious.

On July 8 Mrs Bytyci found two broken mobile phones that she and her husband had bought for Mala on the doorstep, said Mr Voltz.

Later that evening while they were out they were contacted by a neighbour who had seen someone setting light to their wheelie bin which had been moved next to Mr Bytyci’s van which contained a generator and fuel.

A hat belonging to Mala was found at the scene of the fire, said Mr Voltz.

Mala, 42, of no fixed address, denied stalking Mr and Mrs Bytyci, arson and being reckless as to whether life would be endangered but was found guilty after a week-long trial.

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