Nine-year jail term for Bury St Edmunds man convicted of dousing ex-partner in petrol

Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
Ipswich Crown Court ANL-140617-141524001
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A Bury St Edmunds man convicted of dousing his ex-partner with petrol and trying to set it alight has been told he will serve nine years behind bars.

Dale Roberts, 27, of Tollgate Lane, Bury St Edmunds, was found guilty in February by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court of three offences.

Today (Tuesday) he returned to the same court to be sentenced. Judge John Holt told Roberts that the seriousness of what he did required an extended sentence.

Roberts was sentenced to a total of 14 years, nine of which will be spent in custody and five on licence.

It was claimed Roberts had lain in wait for Lisa Wood as she returned from a nightclub in the early hours of August 16 last year.

The prosecution said that Roberts had punched Ms Wood causing her to fall to the ground where she was covered with petrol as he tried to ignite it using a lighter but had failed.

The court has also heard allegations that Roberts remained outside the property in Oakes Road, Bury St Edmunds, threatening to burn it down after Ms Wood had fled inside.

Roberts had pleaded not guilty to attempting to inflict grievous bodily harm, assault causing actual bodily harm and making threats to damage property.

Giving evidence, Roberts said his relationship with Lisa Wood had ended in August last year and claimed she had ‘taken it badly’. Roberts said he had decided that he wanted to return to his wife.

On the same night as the alleged incident, Roberts claimed to have been confronted by Ms Wood in the Flex nightclub in Bury St Edmunds where she had made ‘horrible’ comments about his wife.

At about 2.30am on August 16, Roberts said he decided to retrieve items of his personal property from Ms Wood’s house, believing that she was still out.

Accompanied by a friend, he said he had been starting to move tools from the rear of the house when Ms Wood turned up and a second confrontation took place.

Roberts denied pouring petrol over Ms Wood and trying to set it alight and also said he had not made threats to burn down her house.

The trial heard two police officers called to the scene of the alleged incident had reported smelling petrol on Ms Wood’s hair and could see grazes on her face.