Bodmin explosion house owner admits arson
A man who destroyed a house after a fire he set caused an explosion has been jailed for four years.
Glen Heather, 50, admitted at Truro Crown Court destroying the uninsured house in Bodmin, Cornwall, to deprive his ex-wife of her share of its value.
The front and roof of the house in Margaret Crescent were blown off in the incident last October.
Heather, of Albany Road, Truro, pleaded guilty to arson and being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.
He sprinkled petrol around rooms in the unoccupied building and set it on fire.
The fire burned itself out, but damaged a gas pipe which later caused an explosion after an electrical spark, the court heard.
Judge Harvey Clark said that after the explosion destroyed the £168,000 house its only remaining value was as a £75,000 building plot.
Heather's defence counsel said he had checked the home before starting the fire.
Judge Clark ordered that the 180 days Heather had already spent in custody should count towards his sentence.