A LOUT doused a home with petrol and threatened to torch the property while the terrified householder was inside, a court heard.

Unemployed John Wilson had targeted the house, in Maurice Street, Nelson, after his partner Laura Sherratt sought sanctuary there, Burnley Crown Court was told.

The 26-year-old, who was believed to have been drinking or taking drugs, emptied a petrol can over the front door and hallway and shouted for a lighter.

Wilson, of Pine Street, Nelson, who pleaded guilty to threatening to destroy property, criminal damage and racially aggravated public disorder, was given a 16-month jail sentence.

He was also issued with a five-year restraining order, preventing him from returning to Maurice Street or approaching Miss Taylor.

Jailing him, Judge David Potter said the householder, Sarah Taylor, already suffered from mental health problems, which had been exacerbated by his actions.

Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said Miss Taylor had invited Miss Sherratt into a home after she had been involved in a confrontation with the defendant.

Wilson started banging on the door, hurling abuse, before he was eventually allowed in, the court heard.

Another argument followed before he left the house, knocking a picture off the wall, added Mr Parker.

An independent eyewitness, Mohammed Ismail, saw what had been going on and watched as Wilson turned to the property later with a petrol can.

Mr Parker said he made a racist remark concerning Asian males and the two women inside the house.

Wilson then started pouring petrol on the front door and outside of the building and shouted: "I'm going to burn you both out."

He then started to shout for a lighter. Mr Ismail approached him and asked him what he as doing and he ran off, the court was told.

Wilson returned to the scene later but the police had been called and he was arrested.

Ellen Shaw, defending, said: "He accepts that his behaviour was completely unacceptable on the night."

He had lost his access to his second child, around the time of the offences, and had turned to drink, the court heard.