Suffolk

Dale Roberts jailed for dousing ex-girlfriend in petrol

Dale Roberts Image copyright Suffolk Police
Image caption Dale Roberts had a "dreadful record" of 54 previous offences, the judge said

A man who doused his ex-partner with petrol and threatened to set light to her has been jailed for nine years.

Dale Roberts, 27, of Tollgate, Bury St Edmunds, waited outside Lisa Wood's house before knocking her to the ground and pouring petrol on her.

He was found guilty of attempted GBH, assault and threatening to commit damage to property at his trial at Ipswich Crown Court in February.

The judge referred to his record of "violent behaviour" in relationships.

The court heard he parked outside Ms Wood's house in Bury St Edmunds in the early hours of Saturday 16 August 2014 until she returned from a nightclub.

He punched her in the face and she fell to the ground before he poured petrol over her from a can.

'High risk'

The court heard Roberts's brother intervened and Roberts then threatened to burn the house down as he drove away.

Ms Wood vomited several times and was left with cuts and bruises on her head.

Mark Roochove, defence counsel, said Roberts continued to deny responsibility for the attack and had been recently reconciled with another former partner with whom he had two children.

Judge John Holt said the jury had concluded he intended to set fire to his victim and that he had a history of "violent and aggressive behaviour within intimate relationships".

"You flicked the lighter at least a couple of times and fortunately the wind blew it out," he said.

"The pre-sentence report shows a high likelihood of re-offending with a high risk of serious harm."

The judge said Roberts had a "dreadful record" of 54 offences including domestic violence against four known partners.

He told Roberts he would serve five years on licence upon his release from jail.

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