A vengeful husband burned his estranged wife’s designer handbags, shoes and clothes after discovering she’d married her Gambian lover.
Darrell Plews, 44, wanted to win back his wife Michelle after she met a new man on a holiday in Africa in January.
But he flew into a rage in March when his now former mother-in-law told him Michelle had married her new man – while she was still married to Plews.
Leeds Crown Court heard Plews went to the couple’s former marital home in Dewsbury Road, Lupset, Wakefield, and burned her belongings in a blaze on the patio.
Prosecutor Patrick Gallagher said Plews, of Mayfair Court, Wakefield, and his now former wife had been together six years and had two children together.
There had been tension between the couple and Michelle Plews went on holiday to Gambia in January this year without her husband.
Mr Gallagher said it was while on holiday that Michelle met a new man, adding: “On return from holiday she told the defendant she didn’t care for him any more and would be seeking a divorce.”
Later in January, Plews started sending his estranged wife “love” text messages attempting to win her back. But she rejected the messages and contacted police.
The court heard Plews appeared before magistrates at Pontefract where he admitted harassment and was made the subject of a restraining order.
Mr Gallagher said shortly after Plews’ first court appearance, Michelle Plews flew to Gambia for a second time to see her new man.
Mrs Plews’ neighbour contacted her via the internet on March 9 or 10.
Mr Gallagher said: “The neighbour had seen Mr Plews in the garden of the former matrimonial home burning her clothing.”
When Michelle Plews returned from Gambia on March 15, she discovered clothing and other property missing from her bedroom and saw scorch marks on the patio. She contacted police and Plews was arrested.
Richard Canning, for Plews, said: “He has done it out of revenge. He was trying his best to get things back on track.”
Mr Canning said Mrs Plews had gone to Gambia to meet her new man using money from Plews’ business, adding: “She then married him while married to the defendant. Apparently that’s legal in Gambia.
“He lost his temper and did something very stupid for which he now has to pay the price.
“He kept his wife, he thought, very happy over the years. It’s difficult for him not to see himself as the victim. He has lost his wife, his house and his children.”
Plews admitted arson and theft.
Recorder Bradshaw handed Plews a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years and ordered him to pay his ex wife £5,000 compensation.
A restraining order was imposed, banning Plews from contacting Michelle Plews for two years. And Plews, who has previous convictions for grievous bodily harm, theft and burglary, must do 200 hours unpaid work.