Sunderland dog-lover planned to blow up rival’s flat in a row over his pet

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Court story
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A DOG-LOVER broke into a flat and turned on the gas in the hope a rival would blow himself up – after an argument over his pet.

Arron Morgan believed David Gray posed some sort of threat to his pet, and warned him he would kill after a row last summer.

The 31-year-old then broke into Mr Gray’s home in Hendon and switched on the gas, hoping his victim would light a cigarette on returning to the property, and blow himself up.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Morgan realised he was risking someone’s life and raised the alarm before any actual damage was done.

Morgan, of Deerness Road, Hendon, yesterday pleaded guilty to making a threat to kill and burglary. The court heard he has served a prison sentence in the past for an assault.

Judge James Goss QC sentenced him to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with supervision and a three-month night-time curfew.

Judge Goss told him: “You went to his house, turned on the gas assuming there would be an explosion when he came back and lit a cigarette.

“Fortunately for you and for everyone else, you realised what a stupid thing it was you had done and the threat never materialised, otherwise it would have been very, very serious indeed. What you did, as you know, was wrong.

“You were angry, and I understand you were angry but it does not entitle you to behave as you did.

“You uttered a very serious threat about what you intended to do, making a threat to kill, then went to David Gray’s house.”

Robin Patton, defending, said Morgan, who has health problems including brain damage and autism, has a history of issues and is very close to his dog.

Mr Patton said: “It was a perceived wrong in relation to his dog and he allowed his feelings to get out of control.

“His anxiety is what is going to happen to his dog today if he went into custody.”