Fiorenzo Buzzanca jailed over threats to burn home
A man who trapped two children in their home, doused it in petrol and threatened to burn it down has been jailed.
Fiorenzo Buzzanca, 41, of Stanstead Road, Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire, broke into the house on 17 April and held a knife to a woman's throat.
She broke free but he barricaded himself in a bedroom with two children, St Albans Crown Court heard.
Buzzanca admitted various charges and was sentenced to six years in prison.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of false imprisonment, criminal damage, being reckless as to whether life was being endangered, threatening to destroy or damage property, affray and breach of a non-molestation order.
Justin Rouse, prosecuting, said the 41-year-old had waved a can of petrol at officers from a window and could be seen holding a knife.
He said Buzzanca had asked police if they had matches and refused to allow the children to leave.
The court was told Buzzanca broke up furniture and tore up clothes, creating a pile which he doused in petrol, and blocked off a window by placing a wardrobe in front of it.
Police eventually forced their way into the house and overpowered Buzzanca after he had shouted to officers that he was going to start a fire in three minutes.
Rakesh Sharma, mitigating, said Buzzanca had been suffering from depression and stress at the time and had acted completely out of character, however the court heard a psychiatrist had concluded he was not suffering from any mental illness.
Passing sentence, Judge Andrew Bright QC told the 41-year-old he believed there had been a "significant degree of premeditation".
"In any view, what you did deserves a substantial custodial sentence," he said.
"The evidence suggests both young children were so traumatised they found it difficult to speak."