A MAN who set fire to his ex-wife’s summer house and stalked her at her hotel workplace has been jailed for two years and two months.
Cardiff Crown Court heard that Mark Brown, 52, had separated from his wife, but they had rekindled their relationship in 2021 only for him to torch the garden feature after a drunken row at her Raglan home last July.
The duo had been out for a Chinese meal in Monmouth that night, but argued when they returned to her house.
She went upstairs to bed but then woke to see him setting fire to her garden summer house using a lighter and firelighters, the court was told.
His ex-wife put the fire out with a hose and later confronted Brown, who denied starting the fire.
Police arrested and bailed him pending inquiries, but that autumn he began pestering her in breach of his bail conditions.
Prosecutor Harry Baker told the court the victim had recieved ‘multiple’ messages and phone calls from him, and turned up at the Raglan hotel where she worked.
He booked a room there on their anniversary despite being banned from the premises, and asked colleagues to pass on money to her.
He also pestered her in the kitchen, and tried to give her a new iPhone and a bag of cheese puffs.
Brown, of Ethley Drive, Raglan, admitted charges of arson and stalking.
His victim said in a persnal statement read to the court
In a victim statement read out to the court: “As a result of the fire I get fearful and paranoid around fire. I get flashbacks, I don’t feel I am able to go back (to work) and I feel uncomfortable.
“I have experienced sleeplessness and wake up with thoughts running through my head. I feel stressed constantly assessing risks as I feel he’s going to contact me again.
“I am anxious at work because of how unpredictable he can be and doesn’t understand the stress and worry he has caused me.”
It was claimed in mitigation that Brown had drink problems, but had taken action to address those issues.
Judge David Wynn-Morgan told Brown: “You have a habit of blaming the bad things you do on the fact you have consumed large quantities of alcohol.
“The consumption of alcohol is not an excuse, it’s a factor that aggravates the offending.
“What you did in setting fire to that summer house that night was a wicked, mean, deliberate, unpleasant offence, a spiteful offence, knowing your victim was particularly fond of this summer house and would be upset by it being destroyed.
“It was an act of spite on your part. You showed a complete lack of awareness of your predicament and of the damage you had done by constantly trying to attract her attention in the most gauche and unimaginable way possible.”
Brown is also banned from contacting the woman.