Edward McArthur admits setting partner on fire in Darlington

Edward McArthur Image copyright Durham Police
Image caption Edward McArthur was jailed for 15 years and nine months

A man has admitted pouring petrol on his partner then setting her alight and trapping her in a burning flat.

Rebecca Major, 32, escaped by smashing a window with a table and jumping from an upstairs window of the flat on Geneva Road, Darlington, last August.

At Teesside Crown Court, Edward McArthur, 40, of Geneva Road, admitted charges of arson and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He has been jailed for 15 years and nine months.

The jury cleared him of attempted murder on the direction of the judge.

Ms Major, who was in the public gallery of the court, suffered 40% burns in the blaze as well as a broken skull and sternum in the fall from the flat above a shop.

She spent three weeks in intensive care after the fire in August and has ongoing health problems.

'Remain scarred'

A statement read out in court said she had suffered unbearable pain.

"Due to my injuries, I feel like a freak and people stare at me," it said.

The judge told McArthur: "Your intention was to disfigure, that means the serious injury you had in mind was to be permanent, in that she would remain scarred.

"You must have heard her screams and you ignored them. As she was screaming for help you walked out of the flat."

He added Ms Major had been psychologically scarred and left "nervous, fragile and untrusting".

Outside court Ms Major's mother, Lorraine McClaren, stood next to her and said: "There are no words to describe my feelings, this is my baby.

"He is a horrendous person and he deserves everything he is going to get."

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