Beds, Herts & Bucks

Ex-lover convicted of Hertfordshire narrowboat arson

Kathleen Smith
Image caption Kathleen Smith poured petrol over the narrowboat before setting it alight

A Hertfordshire woman has been found guilty of hitting her ex-lover with an iron and setting fire to his narrowboat while he slept on board.

Kathleen Smith, 34, doused Jeremy Brewer's boat with petrol because she was angry he had finished with her, St Albans Crown Court was told.

At the time of the attack, in January 2010, Smith was on bail for assaulting him with a steam iron.

Smith, of Beechfield Road, Hemel Hempstead, was remanded in custody.

She will be sentenced in April for arson with intent to endanger life and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, both of which she denied.

During the trial, Mr Brewer told a jury he woke on 6 January to find the boat on fire and was trapped inside the vessel on the Grand Union Canal at Boxmoor.

The court heard the melted remains of a plastic petrol can were found by firefighters, who rescued Mr Brewer.

In November 2009, Smith had attacked him with a steam iron and told him "I will burn your boat", Mr Brewer said.

She smashed an iron over his head and he had to be taken to hospital by ambulance and required 18 stitches.

The couple had been in a relationship for four years before their split in July 2009.

Smith elected not to give evidence during the trial.

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