Man set fire to ex-partner’s bed after bust up

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A VENGEFUL man who set fire to his former partner’s bed after threatening to burn her house down has narrowly avoided jail.

Crazed Adam Cummins started a bonfire in his ex-girlfriend’s yard after their relationship turned sour, a court heard.

Earlier that day, he had stormed into Stacey Laughton’s bedroom when she was in bed with her six-year-old son and threatened to burn it and the house down.

Describing the events on July 20 last year, John Gillette, prosecuting at Teesside Crown Court, said: “He got hold of the bottom section of the bed, ripped it off then threatened to burn it and the house down.”

Miss Laughton fled to her sister’s. She arrived home several hours later to see police arresting Cummins, 25, over the fire in the back yard.

Mr Gillette added: “Police officers had attended and in the back yard came across the defendant with effectively a bonfire made up of parts of the bed including the mattress and various cushions and the like.”

As Cummins was led away he said: “You see Stacey, you didn’t think I would take it this far did you?”

On June 27, he fractured Miss Laughton’s collarbone after she threw an egg at him as a joke and he pushed her into a kitchen cupboard.

The couple had been in a four-year relationship before it broke down last summer.

Paul Cleasby, mitigating, said Cummins, who admitted harassment, had been “emotionally destroyed” by the break-up but had moved on after seeking help himself.

He said: “The incidents are very much a chapter that he would wish to draw a line under

“He is deeply embarrassed about the way he behaved and for any distress caused.”

Judge John Walford said he was set to jail Cummins immediately, but imposed 12 months prison suspended for two years with probation supervision.

He also slapped Cummins, of Rossall Street, Hartlepool, with a five-year restraining order against Miss Laughton and her son and ordered him to do 250 hours unpaid work.

Judge Walford said: “Having listened to Mr Cleasby and considered the matter I’m just prepared to give you a chance and not send you to prison. But I want you to know how close you have come and if there is the slightest hint of mistreatment to a partner, particularly in this overt dramatic and potentially dangerous way, you will go to prison for a long time.”