A MAN has been jailed after setting fire to the house his estranged girlfriend's home.

Ryan Lomax, 30 of Brookbottom Road, Radcliffe, used accelerant to ignite the carpets in the loft of a house on Dean Street, also in Radcliffe, where his former girlfriend, with whom he had had a "tempestuous relationship" was staying.

Minshull Street Crown Court, heard on Wednesday February 2 how Lomax had started the fire on August 10 last year after becoming "extremely paranoid" that this partner was being unfaithful to him with his best friend and being asked to leave the house.

Prosecutor Lisa Boocock told the court that before starting the blaze Lomax said: "If I go, the house goes, it will all go up."

Bury Times:

Around £80,000 worth of damage was caused

She explained Lomax poured accelerant over the carpets in the loft before starting the fire.

No one was harmed in the blaze but around £82,000 worth of damage was caused.

Reading a victim statement from Lomax's estranged partner, Ms Boocock said: "I feel he's ruined my life and that I've lost everything."

She added: "I can't believe he's done this."

Lomax was arrested shortly afterwards and pleaded guilty to starting the fire, but said he only wished to harm himself.

Bury Times:

Lomax started the fire in the house's loft

Defence counsel Andrew Evans told the court that his client had no previous convictions and was "of good character, legally, up to this point."

He said that many of Lomax's problems had been brought on by mental health issues, which had been exacerbated after seeing his best friend assaulted and having to give evidence on the matter in court.

Mr Evans also agreed that Lomax had not intended to harm anyone else in the fire, only himself.

He said: "This is not arson perpetrated in the middle of the night without regard for the people sleeping upstairs, this is not a fire set without warning."

Her Honour Judge Angela Neild agreed that Lomax's guilty plea, lack of previous convictions and mental health difficulties were all significant mitigating factors but said his actions still posed risks to others.

She sentenced him to two years and six months in prison.