Andrew McGarry jailed for asking fellow inmates to attack ex-wife's house

Andrew McGarry Image copyright GMP
Image caption Andrew McGarry befriended two other inmates at HMP Forest Bank

An architect who tried to encourage fellow inmates to set fire to his ex-wife's home after botching an earlier attempt himself has been sentenced.

Andrew McGarry, 39, formerly of Harwood, Bolton, was given life with a minimum term of six years.

He had been found guilty of three counts under the Serious Crime Act 2007 after a trial at Bolton Crown Court.

McGarry had previously set fire to his car before speeding into the home of his ex-wife and children, police said.

That collision, in July 2012, caused damage to the car and house but no-one was seriously injured.

He was arrested at the scene and initially charged with attempted murder.

McGarry was eventually jailed for eight years after pleading guilty to arson with intent to endanger life.

'Dirty work'

The following month, he befriended two other inmates at HMP Forest Bank in Salford.

He asked one if they knew anyone who would be willing to damage his old house, where his wife was still living, and offered him £100 to arrange for the windows to be smashed, police said.

With no intention of doing so, the inmate told McGarry he would arrange this and was given the address.

Some days later, McGarry told the man he wanted someone to burgle the house and set it on fire and provided detailed hand-drawn plans of the property's layout.

When McGarry was asked whether his wife would be present, he told the inmate he was "not bothered" if his wife and children would be there.

Again, with no intention of arranging the attack, the inmate said he would get someone to do it before confiding in a fellow inmate.

Image copyright GMP
Image caption McGarry gave a fellow inmate detailed plans of his ex-wife's house which he had drawn

The second inmate approached McGarry and asked him what he wanted, to which he replied: "A reign of terror".

Both inmates reported McGarry to prison staff.

In April 2013, he was moved to HMP Wymott in Lancashire, where he approached another inmate and made similar requests, police said.

Again the inmate confided in prison staff.

Det Sgt Nick Gibson, said: "Having failed in his own efforts to set fire to his ex-wife's home, McGarry tried to recruit fellow inmates to do his dirty work.

"At first the inmates thought his ramblings were those of an extremely bitter man, but as soon as they realised his intent was sincere, they reported him."

McGarry was sentenced after being found guilty of three counts under Section 46 of the Serious Crime Act 2007, namely encouraging or assisting offences believing one or more would be committed.

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