Jilted man jailed over fire at ex-girlfriend's home in Peterborough

Leroy Owen, 41, from Peterborough, has been jailed. Credit: Cambridgeshire Police
Leroy Owen, 41, from Peterborough, has been jailed. Credit: Cambridgeshire Police

A man who started a fire at his ex-girlfriend's home three months after she broke up with him, has been jailed.

Leroy Owen, 41, had been drinking when he turned up at the woman's home in Paston, Peterborough, in December last year.

He claimed he wanted to pick up some of his belongings and tried to reconcile with her.

But when the victim told him to leave, Owen became verbally abusive and she fled to the bathroom and locked herself in.

Owen left but later that night he followed the victim as she went to and from a supermarket, before leaving again.

A couple of hours later the victim smelt smoke and heard a “popping” noise.

She found smoke coming from her front door and, on opening it, saw flames bellowing from the electric meter box.

Firefighters rescued the victim and her cats from the back door and managed to put out the blaze, which had spread to the neighbouring terraced house.

The victim was taken to hospital where she was treated for smoke inhalation and shock.

Both homes were left with significant damage and a fire investigation concluded the fire had been started deliberately.

Owen was arrested hours after the fire and in a police interview, he admitted it was “more than likely” his cigarette had caused the fire.

He added: “I do believe I caused the fire and if I have caused it, I haven’t done it on purpose, it was not intentional”.

Owen was sentenced to two years and eight months in prison after pleading guilty to arson.

DC Lizzy Aspland said: “Owen’s actions that night were incredibly dangerous and reckless – lives could’ve been lost.

“I would like to commend the firefighters for getting the fire under control and I also pay tribute to the victim - her courage throughout this case and her cooperation has meant we could bring Owen to justice.”

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