Angry Honiton boyfriend jailed for making firebomb threat to ex-partner

Exeter Crown Court.

Exeter Crown Court. - Credit: Archant

An angry boyfriend has been jailed after he threw petrol onto his ex-partner’s front door and threatened to set it alight.

Ryan Gillard threatened to firebomb his former partner’s home in Whimple before going to a nearby service station and returning with a can of petrol.

Neighbours called the police and fire brigade after they saw him dousing the front door in petrol while shouting ‘I told you I’d burn your house down, I’ll torch the place’.

Gillard had been in a relationship with the woman for about three months but it broke down because she suspected he was seeing other women.

He went to her home in Whimple, on the morning of April 22 this year after an exchange of abusive text messages with her friend who was staying with her.

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He asked the friend to fight him and threatened to burn the house down when she refused.

Mechanic Gillard, aged 23, of St Pauls Road, Honiton, admitted threatening to cause criminal damage and was jailed for 18 months by Recorder Miss Hannah Willcocks at Exeter Crown Court.

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She told him his ex was ‘very shaken’ and found to be in shock and this had a ‘grave impact’ on her.

She added Gillard deliberately went to the property and ‘took every step’ to ensure she and her friend would think he would carry out the threat.

Miss Emmi Wilson, prosecuting, said Gillard started the relationship in January after being released from a jail sentence for drug offences.

It went well until his former partner found messages on his phone and suspected he was being unfaithful.

He went to her house at around 9am and let himself in through the back door before confronting his ex’s friend, who was asleep on a sofa in the sitting room.

He was wearing black leather gloves and asked her to go outside for a fight. When she said no, Gillard told her he would give her an hour to meet him outside or he would burn the house down.

He went upstairs and made the same threats to his ex before leaving and going to the nearby London Road petrol station where he filled a green jerry can and returned.

Miss Wilson said:”He doused the front door in petrol and was seen by [both women]. They opened the door and saw him with the green can.

“He said ‘I told you I would burn your house down, don’t f*** with me’. A neighbour heard him say ‘I’ll torch the place’.”

The fire service was called and evacuated the house while they made it safe.

Mr James Rickard, defending, said Gillard is immature and had behaved in a impulsive manner. He had never intended to carry through his threat.

He had been doing well on licence after being freed from a sentence for cannabis dealing.

He had a positive report from the probation service and had found a job with prospects at a garage workshop in Dunkeswell.

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