Man jailed for attempting to kill ex-partner

05/01/2015

A 44-year-old Walsall man has today been sentenced to 16 years imprisonment at Wolverhampton Crown Court for attempted murder after he was found guilty during an earlier trial of trying to burn down his ex-partner’s house.

Gary Griffiths from Brownhills, Walsall was in a short relationship with the victim, but after a few months, this was terminated by her.

Unable to accept this, Griffiths tried to remain in contact with the victim by sending her numerous text messages and even turning up to her place of work unannounced with a bouquet of flowers.

However, the victim did not wish to rekindle the relationship, which made the defendant angry.

On the morning of 4 March 2014, Griffiths drove to the Jet Service Station on Lichfield Road, Shellfield and filled up a five litre container with petrol. He then drove to the victim's house in Walsall, poured petrol on the outside of the front door and also through the letterbox, putting a piece of paper and a lit cigarette through it. Through good fortune it was only the petrol on the outside of the letterbox that caught alight.

The defendant then  tried to call the victim as well as sent her a text message to inform her what he had done and remained outside the house watching the fire take hold of the downstairs.

The victim was awoken by the missed call from Griffiths and read the text message, she then saw him standing outside her house and then driving away. She immediately called the emergency services who rescued her and put the fire out.

The defendant was later arrested by the police and following a trail at Wolverhampton Crown Court before Christmas, he was found guilty of attempted murder and arson.

Stephen Davies, Acting Sector Crown Prosecutor from West Midlands Crown Prosecution Service, said:

"Unable to accept the fact that the victim did not wish to rekindle their relationship, Gary Griffiths sought revenge on his ex-partner and planned to burn down her house while she was asleep in it.

"Once he had set fire to the house, rather than call for help, Griffiths watched from across the road as the flames took hold of the downstairs of the house and then left the scene of his crime knowing that the victim was trapped upstairs. 

"Through his reckless actions, he not only put the victim's life in danger, but that of the neighbours and the emergency services who were called out to tackle the blaze."