Doncaster arsonist who set fire to ex-partner’s car avoids jail

Sheffield Crown Court
Sheffield Crown Court

A Doncaster arsonist who set fire to his ex-partner’s car as revenge for suspected criminal damage to his own property has avoided jail.

Carl Ward, aged 40, of Elmfield Road, New Rossington, was told by a judge at Sheffield Crown Court he was ‘incredibly lucky’ to avoid a custodial term.

The defendant, who appeared via video link from a Doncaster prison, punched the air as he was given a two-year suspended prison term.

The court heard how Ward reported an incident of criminal damage to police, alleging that his former partner’s new boyfriend was responsible.

But officers said they were unable to do much about it as there had been no witnesses.

The court was told Ward contacted his former partner and made threats down the phone before calling a taxi to a petrol station on October 23 last year.

Susan Evans, prosecuting, said: “Ward bought fuel and a petrol canister before heading over to her car and setting it alight. Ward left the canister behind.

“Neighbours initially tried to put the fire out and the police and fire were called out to the scene. The fire report said that the whole vehicle was damaged.”

The court heard Ward made his way to the complainant’s home. Ms Evans said the defendant had ‘no reason to be there’.

He pleaded guilty to his charges at an earlier hearing.

The victim said in a statement she has trouble sleeping and relied on the car to transport her two young children she shares with the defendant.

Ian Goldsack, defending, said: “Mr Ward has two children with his former partner and does maintain reasonable and amicable links and contact with his children through a grandmother.

“He reported the criminal damage done to his A-Class Mercedes to police and they told him not a lot could be done. There was no witnesses but from a series of previous exchanges he suspected it was his ex-partner or her boyfriend.

“He was left with this grievance and events then took a wrong turn.”

Recorder David Wilby QC said: “I can understand what motivated you in some way but this car could’ve exploded and this was a residential street. The prospects are frightening.

“What you did was stupid and dangerous and you are incredibly lucky that you’ve not been sent to custody. Not many other judges would be so lenient.”

Ward was also handed a two-year community order.