Man torched his Leeds home after row with his ex

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A DAD who torched his home after a row with his ex-partner has been jailed for 20 months.

A court heard Darren Jones smashed up his property before setting curtains alight at his home in Beeston, Leeds, during a row with his former partner of 23 years.

Leeds Crown Court heard the dispute began on October 29 last year over a row involving the eldest of their four children.

Jones, 40, rang the woman from his home and shouted abuse at her as he smashed plates and a television set at the property on Woodview Grove.

Jones then rang the police and made allegations which led to police being sent to her home. He then rang his former partner again as police were at her home and said he was going to start a fire.

Officers then set off to Jones’s home and his ex-partner rang him to tell him they were on their way.

Jones replied that he was “not bothered” and was “ready for them.”

Richard Smith, prosecuting, said Jones told the woman: “This is the last time you will hear my voice.”

Officers arrived at the property and saw the curtains were on fire on the top floor

Jones shouted to officers: “It ends today. This is my last day.”

Officers called the fire service and forced entry to the property but Jones threatened them with a crowbar.

Officers managed to persuade him to drop the weapon and he was arrested. Firefighters arrived and managed to stop the blaze spreading.

Jones was interviewed about the incident and said he was angry but had no intention of destroying his home by fire.

He pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

A probation service reported stated it was not considered appropriate to give Jones a community punishment.

Graham Parkin, mitigating, said Jones had mental health issues and had a tendency to behave in a “petulant child-like way”.

Mr Parkin said his client accepted that he would be facing a custodial sentence as the offence was so serious.

Jailing Jones, Judge Neil Clark said: “Any offence of arson is serious. You risk the lives of those who have to extinguish the fire.”

Tony Burdin, chief executive of Sheffield Mutual Friendly Society

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