Grimsby man jailed after burning down ex-partner's home in Boxing Day 'night of terror'

Savastel Balaci "bombarded his victims with phone calls and messages threatening to kill them" before setting the fire. Credit: Humberside Police

A man from Grimsby who deliberately set fire to his ex-partner's home in what police have described as a 'night of terror' has been jailed.

Savastel Balaci, 35, of Bridge Gardens was found guilty of common assault, malicious communications, stalking with fear of violence, and arson with intent to endanger life. 

He was sentenced to 15 years in prison after being found guilty following a trial by jury, and being adjudged to be a dangerous offender.

Balaci had originally become aggressive towards his former partner and her family, embarking on a "campaign of intimidation and assault" using phone calls and messages threatening to kill them.

Detective Constable Connolly from Humberside Police said: "His behaviour escalated and culminated in a night of terror as he set the victim’s lean to alight on Boxing Day last year.

"The family managed to escape after being woken by the cracking and popping of the fire metres away from where they were sleeping."

CCTV footage showed the moment Balaci set fire to his jacket at the house. Credit: Humberside Police

Balaci was arrested a short time later and admitted in interview that he had bought a lighter from a nearby petrol station and gone to his ex-partner's home.

He then set his jacket on fire and left it hanging against the lean-to of the house knowing that the family were asleep inside.

Detective Constable Connolly from Humberside Police said: "This clearly could have ended in tragedy had the family not been woken from sounds of the fire as it began to spread and managed to get everyone out of the property. 

"Balaci's actions were reckless and endangered the lives of the people in the house at the time.

"This sentence reflects the seriousness of the case and I am pleased he will now be behind bars and not able to pose any further risk."

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