Man jealous of ex-wife's new relationship burnt down house

Mark Bedford has been jailed after admitting arson

Mark Bedford has been jailed after admitting arson - Credit: Norfolk Constabulary

A man who was separated from his wife but was still living with her burnt down their home after he became jealous of a new relationship she was in.

Mark Bedford, 49, and his wife married in 2005. They separated three years ago but still lived together with their daughter at a property in Church Drove, Outwell.

King's Lynn Crown Court heard Bedford's wife had started seeing someone else and he did not take to it very well.

Andrew Thompson, prosecuting, said on January 28 this year Bedford threatened to burn the house down.

His wife, who had heard these sort of threats before, booked into a hotel while their daughter had been staying with a friend.

Bedford sent the victim a number of text messages stating that if she was not back home by 10pm he would burn the house down and alluded to the fact he would take his own life.

His former partner switched off her phone as she had heard these things before.

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At about 9pm on January 28 this year one of Bedford's neighbours heard a 'whoosh' sound and thought her house was going to fall down.

She looked out to see an orange glow in the upstairs window of Bedford's house.

The fire brigade were called and firefighters were to find a number of separate seats of fire leading them to believe that the fire had been started deliberately.

The defendant had driven away from the home in his black Mercedes car and was caught at about 3.30am on January 29 heading down to Brighton.

Bedford, of Church Drove, Outwell, near Wisbech, appeared at court on Friday (June 24) for sentence having previously admitted arson being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

Judge David Pugh sentenced Bedford to a total of 40 months imprisonment.

The court heard mitigation from Philip Farr who said the defendant deserved full credit for his plea after admissions made in interview and expressions of remorse.

Bedford was also made the subject of a restraining order prohibiting him from contacting the victim, other than through a solicitor, until further order.