Drunk boyfriend set fire to flat

A DRUNK and controlling boyfriend set fire to his girlfriend s flat when she told him to move out, a court heard. Michael Cannin put a cat litter tray and some cardboard over two cooker rings set to full heat and then went to the pub, said prosecutor Ca

A DRUNK and "controlling" boyfriend set fire to his girlfriend's flat when she told him to move out, a court heard.

Michael Cannin put a cat litter tray and some cardboard over two cooker rings set to full heat and then went to the pub, said prosecutor Cameron Crowe.

Smoke spread outside causing neighbours to protect their doors with damp cloths until help arrived.

Cannin, 25, of Harefield, Stevenage, pleaded guilty to arson and theft of his girlfriend's mobile phone.

A judge at Luton Crown Court on Friday said Cannin had served the equivalent of a 12-month sentence on remand.

"I want to pass a sentence that will encourage him to grow up and deal with his alcohol problem."

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He passed a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years, with an alcohol treatment requirement, a restriction on him contacting the victim, with £1,625 compensation and £500 costs.

Mr Crowe said the couple had been together only a short while but he had become controlling, sometimes abusive and once physically assaulted her, for which he was cautioned.

On September 1 last year he had been drinking all day and during a meeting at a pub had snatched her phone and refused to return it. She later sent a message to him telling him to return her keys and phone.

He sent threatening messages to various people, including one saying he would fire bomb the flat.

Lawrence Selby, defending, said: "He wishes to draw a line under this episode and carry on with his life. He has work as a scaffolder waiting for him."

Judge John Bevan QC told Cannin: "You are 25 and it is high time you grew up. This was committed when you were drunk and the hope is that something can be done to warn you off this sort of behaviour.