Jealous ex set fire to woman's kitchen and doused couple in petrol

Mark Baird
Mark Baird

A jealous boyfriend who set fire to his ex-partner's kitchen and doused an unsuspecting couple in petrol has been jailed for four years.

"Dangerous" Mark Baird became outraged when his former lover boasted about a new boyfriend on social media on August 22 last year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how he went around to his ex's address, on Wearhead Drive, Sunderland, and "rampaged" through the house - before he set a coat alight on the oven hob in her kitchen.

The defendant also attended the address of the victim's father, smashing up his TV, doors, furniture and kicked in the door of his car.

Prosecutor Mark Giuliani said: "In the victim person statement the complainants father said he was fearful for his life and the life of his daughter through the course of the incident.

"He rampaged through the house causing a lot of damage.

"The fire services attended and the fire was dealt with swiftly. There was a lengthy stand off with the police."

The court heard how just three weeks before the arson attack, Baird was one of three defendants who doused a couple in petrol over an alleged £50 debt.

Co-accused Scott Renny, 27 and Steven Adams, 32, were also part of the terrifying incident.

A couple were confronted by the group on their doorstep in Washington over claims their son owed £50, which had risen to over £100 as a result of "exorbitant interest".

The mum and dad were both soaked in the flammable liquid, while Baird shouted "pay your debts" and "get me a match".

The 25-year-old, of Ambleside Court, Chester-le-Street admitted administering poison or other noxious things, theft of petrol, arson and two counts of criminal damage.

Christopher McKeag, defending, said: "His failure to address problems with his youth compounded by a coping mechanism through the use of drugs and drink

lead him to the way he responded on August 22.

"He did not mean to hurt anyone by setting the fire. When he set the time there was no one in the property.

"The complainant in this case is standing by him as far as she can. With his letters to you Judge, his remorse is obvious.

"His regret is plain. His family are showing him support."

The court was also told how Baird suffers from an emotionally unstable personality disorder.

Sentencing him to four years in custody, Judge Robert Adams said: "He was fuelled by jealousy of a new partner.

"There seems to be an issue and that is that he is dangerous. This is something that may decrease over time but he has demonstrated by his behaviour that he has been.

"You sloshed petrol over two people making threats as you did so. Petrol made contact with the male victims face and clothing.

"It must have been a terrifying incident. He thought he was going to be set on fire.

"These were very serious offences. You pose a high risk of serious harm. This is because you have no regard for the safety of others."

Renny, of Kielder, Oxclose, Washington was jailed for 14 months.

Adams, of Rowan Avenue, Washington was given 12 months in prison. They had both admitted administering poison or other noxious thing.