Dad set Leeds home alight after split with partner

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A DAD daubed his family home in paint before setting fire to the property after splitting up with his partner, a court heard.

Robert Vaughan caused more than £2,000 worth of damage to the house in Gipton, Leeds, during the incident on April 11 last year.

Leeds Crown Court heard Vaughan committed the offences on the day his partner left him and took their two children to live with her sister.

Adam Birkby, prosecuting, said Vaughan sent a number of text messages to his partner’s sister throughout the day.

One read: “Tell your sister it is game on. Time for war.” He sent another massage later in the evening indicating that the house had been set on fire.

Mr Birkby said one of Vaughan’s neighbours heard shouting and banging. A number of items from the property were seen on fire in the back garden.

The was also a smell of smoke coming from inside the house.

Police and fire officers were called to the house and discovered damage. Photographs were taken which showed rooms in the house on St Wilfrid’s Close had been daubed with orange and blue paint.

Vaughan, now of Albion Street, Dewsbury, was arrested and claimed that the fire had started after he fell asleep with a cigarette in his hand. He also offered to pay for the damage to the housing association property.

Vaughan pleaded guilty to criminal damage and arson. The court heard he has previous convictions for burglary and theft.

Graham Parkin, mitigating, said Vaughan committed the offences after drinking too much and losing control. Mr Parkin said his client would benefit from treatment to address his drinking and offending behaviour.

The Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier, QC, made Vaughan the subject of a two community supervision order during which he must attend a programme designed to address his offending behaviour. The judge said: “You were clearly in drink and you behaved reprehensibly. This was very serious behaviour”

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