An alcoholic who set fire to his landlady’s front porch after being locked out dressed in a onesie following a day-long drunken row with his boyfriend, has been jailed.
Enda Bohan, knocked back 18 cans of lager before rowing with his partner and his landlady for several hours over rent.
When he was locked out he threatened to burn down her house in Kennet Drive, Bletchley, in a foul-mouthed tirade that lasted half an hour.
In his anger he tried to throw a child’s scooter through Miss Davies’s front window – but was so drunk that he missed and ended up launching it at a neighbour’s car.
Bohan then carried out his threat of setting light to a pile of clothing left outside for recycling.
Landlady Amy Davies only became aware of the fire after hearing the terrified screams of her two children, aged seven and nine years.
A court heard Miss Davies had phoned police several times but they did not arrive until Bohan threatened to burn down the house.
Bohan, 35, was sentenced to two years and 10 months after admitting a charge of arson at Aylesbury Crown Court.
The court heard that at around 8.15pm on November 6, Miss Davies had come home to find Bohan passed out through alcohol consumption. He awoke around two hours later and came downstairs, telling Miss Davies he had drunk 18 cans of Foster’s lager.
Nigel Ogborne, prosecuting, said: “Between 4am and 9am the following morning there was a considerable noise coming from the bedroom. It was an argument between this defendant and his partner.
“Miss Davies told the defendant to leave the property; he refused. She phoned the police on a number of occasions to get some help. The police did not attend.”
Mr Ogborne said Bohan continued to drink and argue with his boyfriend throughout the day, finally leaving the property dressed in a onesie at some point between 4pm and 5pm to buy a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whisky.
“It’s at that stage the complainant took the opportunity to lock the front door, so that no-one could come back in,” said Mr Ogborne.
“She did that because of fear for her children and that the behaviour would continue. Having locked the door, the defendant returned a short time after. He tried to get in but couldn’t. He started banging on the door, shouting and swearing.
“Miss Davies said she was recording him on her phone and for a while he started knocking gently. His behaviour then escalated and he started shouting and swearing, saying ‘are you crying to your mummy, you little bitch?’
“He said ‘I’m going to burn down your house. Wait till tonight, you’re not going to know what hit you’.
“The banging and swearing continued, lasting for about half an hour. At some point he disappeared.”
While Miss Davies phoned the police Bohan picked up a child’s scooter from the front garden and tried to throw it through one of the windows.
Mr Ogborne said: “He was so drunk it didn’t in fact hit the window, it hit the next door neighbour’s car.”
Police finally arrived at the house after Bohan had gone. He returned once the officers had left and Miss Davies had gone upstairs to get changed.
Mr Ogborne told the court: “Whilst upstairs she heard her children start screaming. She came downstairs and saw smoke and flames behind the door. She grabbed her children and ran out the back door. It was sticking and she ended up having to kick the back door before it opened.”
Mr Ogborne said that although the fire could have burned itself out, firefighters said the more likely outcome was the heat generated would have smashed a porch window and led to the flames spreading.
Bohan told police officers he remembered little about the events.
Sophie O’Sullivan, defending, said: “It’s clear from the circumstances it didn’t have any degree of planning. He believes he lit the clothing at the top of the pile, but accepts it would have spread naturally to those below it.
“It isn’t the case he started the fire with the intention for it to grow.
“He has notably struggled with alcoholism over a number of years. He has also been diagnosed with an emotional unstable personality disorder. The exhibiting behaviours from that condition are impulsive behavioural outbursts or explosive behaviours, which leant themselves to exactly the circumstances which took place on that day.
“He had 48 hours of sleep deprivation, which might go some way to explaining this extraordinary change of character. It is entirely out of character for Mr Bohan.”
Bohan was also made the subject of a restraining order against Miss Davies, which will last until further notice and told to pay a £120 victim surcharge.
Judge Sheridan told Bohan that the restraining order was necessary: “Should you choose to wreak revenge, she will suffer further violence at your hands.”