Man started fire at ex-lover's home

A LOWESTOFT man who could not accept his relationship with his former partner was over sprayed cooking oil over a wall beneath her flat and set light to it, a court has heard.

Jane Hunt

A LOWESTOFT man who could not accept his relationship with his former partner was over sprayed cooking oil over a wall beneath her flat and set light to it, a court has heard.

Five people were in Paula Warnes' first floor flat in Kirkley Cliff Road, Lowestoft, when Mark McCormic started a small fire under her bedroom window, Ipswich Crown Court was told.

McCormic, 40, of no fixed address, admitted arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered and was jailed for four years, less 192 days he has spent in custody.


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Jailing him, Judge Peter Thompson said “You deliberately set light to the wall of a house where your ex-girlfriend was on the first floor.

“You took a bottle of fat from home and you threw a brick through a window.”

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He said that Ms Warnes was frightened of McCormic returning to Lowestoft and feared she would have to leave the town if he did go back there.

Andrew Shaw, prosecuting, said that on December 18 McCormic was arrested for throwing bricks through windows at Ms Warnes' home and was released on bail.

The following day he went drinking in Lowestoft and bumped into Ms Warnes and her new partner.

There had been a confrontation relating to the damage caused the previous night and McCormic was later heard making threats to harm Ms Warnes.

Around midnight Ms Warnes was in her first floor flat with her partner, her 19-year-old son and two friends when they heard a loud crash from the rear of the premises.

McCormic was seen in a courtyard at the back of the house looking at a broken window and after he left a small fire was discovered under the broken window.

A chemical smell was noticed and it was discovered that cooking oil had been sprayed on the wall under Ms Warnes' bedroom window and set alight causing damage to a plastic drain cover, said Mr Shaw.

Rebecca Wastall, for McCormic, said her client had been unable to accept his relationship with Ms Warnes was over and had been upset when she had a new partner.

After bumping into Ms Warnes and her partner in a pub in Lowestoft, he felt they were following him round and he had gone to her flat to confront her about the situation.

After throwing a brick through a window to get her attention he had sprayed cooking oil on the wall and had then lit a cigarette.

Miss Wastall said her client now accepted his relationship with Ms Warnes was over.

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