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Arsonist jailed for four years

PUBLISHED: 13:06 01 July 2008 | UPDATED: 20:45 05 July 2010

A 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.

A 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 yesterday

McCormic, 40, of no fixed address, admitted arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered and was jailed for four years.

Jailing him, Judge Peter Thompson 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, McCormic started the fire, which caused damage to a plastic drain cover.

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. He now accepted the relationship was over.

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