East Lancs thug jailed after torching pregnant partner's home

East Lancs thug jailed after torching pregnant partner's home

East Lancs thug jailed after torching pregnant partner's home

First published in News by , Court reporter

A BINGE drinking thug who torched his pregnant partner's home after he smashed his way in, late at night, has been locked up for three years.

B&Q worker Leigh Jarvis, 28, had set fire to the woman’s net curtain twice, after tying it in a knot.

Victim Jamie Smith, who he had earlier rowed with, was out, but her neighbours in Riverside Terrace, Earby, were probably asleep in their beds.

Burnley Crown Court was told how Jarvis, who had had 30 cans of lager, had sent Ms Smith, who he thought was with somebody else, increasingly abusive texts before and after the attack on her house, telling her, ‘you're dead’ then ‘your house is on fire’.

Judge Simon Newell said the defendant might have been drunk, but he clearly gave the impression he knew what he was doing.

Jarvis, of Riverside Terrace, admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered and two counts of common assault.

Prosecutor Jeremy Grout-Smith said the police had a report of a fire, some time before 2am, on May 4.

A window at the back of the property had been broken from outside.

The curtain was hanging in the centre of the window and an empty cigarette packet had been lit immediately beneath it and ignited it. The material had shrunk away from the flames, averting a more serious fire.

A fire officer reported had the flames spread to surrounding cotton curtains and wooden furniture, the whole house could have been engulfed.

Louise Kitchin, defending, said: "He's deeply ashamed of what he did. He's deeply remorseful.”

Sentencing, Judge Newell told Jarvis: "If that house had gone up, you could have been standing there on a murder or manslaughter charge."

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