Seaham man jailed after he admitted to setting fire to his ex partner’s front door

John Prest was sentenced to four years behind bars and given a seven-year restraining order after he pleaded guilty to setting fire to his former partner’s front door.

Wednesday, 17th February 2021, 5:52 pm

Prest, formerly of Eastlea Crescent in Seaham was arrested in November last year after he purchased £4.32 worth of petrol while drunk and proceeded to douse the front of his ex partner’s house with it.

He ignited the petrol with a lighter while both she and one of her children were inside the house, however the fire did not take hold and the flames were petering out when emergency services arrived at the scene.

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John Prest, aged 34, was jailed for four years after he pleaded guilty to arson.

Officers arrested 34-year-old Prest shortly after the incident, who was “paralytically drunk” and smelt strongly of petrol.

He pleaded guilty to arson when he appeared at court in December and last week, he was handed four years behind bars, along with a seven-year long restraining order from contacting his former partner.

Inspector Joanne Malkin, of Seaham Neighbourhood Police Team, has commented on the fact that the outcome of Prest’s actions could have been very differnet.

“But despite the physical damage being minimal, the victims are nonetheless suffering from the psychological harm of such an attack, and I hope Mr Prest reflects on that over the course of his sentence.

“No matter how minor the damage caused, arson in all instances is totally unacceptable and will not be taken lightly.”

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