Tree surgeon set ex-partner's car ablaze in Meifod

Reporter:

Court Reporter

A tree surgeon got into a jealous rage and set his former partner’s car alight after she went out with another man.

But it was parked so close to her bungalow home in Meifod, that the fire spread to the property.

Mold Crown Court heard how luckily a neighbour saw the flames and raised the alarm.

Fire fighters put out the fire but if they had not been called it could have destroyed the bungalow, which contained the woman’s beloved pet dog.

Defendant Daniel Mark Williamson, 25, of Woodland View, Treflach, Oswestry, admitted arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered and was jailed for two years.

The court heard that the victim, Melanie Simm, had since visited him in prison and in a statement said that she believed that he needed help.

Prosecuting barrister John Philpotts said that the fire at Ger y Llan, Meifod, on Tuesday, March 14, destroyed a Ford KA.

It was parked a metre or so away from the rented bungalow and flames shot up to the fascia boards on the gable end and the door melted in the heat.

Two fire appliances arrived and a fire report made it plain that if the alarm had not been raised so promptly then the bungalow could have been engulfed.

That night Miss Simm had gone out with her former partner.

She had left her mobile phone in his car and later realised she had received calls and texts from Williamson, one of a threatening nature.

At about 8pm a neighbour saw the car well alight.

The defendant had been in his works van, it had a tracker which placed the vehicle at the scene at the time.

He had admitted to his employer what he had done.

Arrested, he made full admissions and said that he had “lost his head” and had a short temper.

Williamson said that he felt his former girlfriend and her ex-partner had “got one over on him”.

In a victim impact statement Miss Simm said that she was in utter shock and disbelief.

She said that she genuinely felt that the defendant needed help with his mental health and other issues from his childhood.

She felt sorry for him and hoped he would get treatment.

Peter Barnett, defending, said that Williamson had not been in custody before.

The four month relationship had come to an end and when he found that she had gone out with another man, he foolishly went to her home and started the fire.

He did not deliberately take the petrol to start the fire, he had it in the works van for use in a saw,

Judge Rhys Rowlands said the fire was a deliberate act.

There had been a risk of an explosion from the vehicle and it was parked so close to the property that it was obvious to anyone that the fire would spread.

It was “a quite deliberate act”,  taking revenge – an extreme and extremely dangerous reaction to the fact that she had gone out with someone else.

The judge said that Williamson was not a pyromaniac – rather he lost his temper and sought revenge.

He said while the views of the victim were taken into account they could not determine the sentence – and there was also a second victim to consider, the farmer who rented out the bungalow. It would cost at least £2,000 to repair the property.

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

Most Read