Jilted boyfriend jailed after torching love rival's car
A SPURNED lover who set fire to a car belonging to his ex-partner's new boyfriend has been jailed.
Scott McGraw, aged 23, targeted the vehicle after failing to come to terms with the breakdown of his relationship, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard yesterday.
David Bennett, prosecuting, said McGraw's relationship with Amy Blagg ended in January and, shortly afterwards, she entered into a relationship with one of his friends.
"He was upset and angry when he found out she had started the relationship with Matthew Allerton," said Mr Bennett.
The court heard McGraw sent Miss Blagg a series of abusive texts on June 24.
And at 2am on June 26 he went to Park Hall Service Station, in Longton, and filled a container with £3.33 worth of petrol before leaving without paying.
"Shortly after, he was seen in the vicinity of Miss Blagg's address in Longton," said Mr Bennett.
"Mr Allerton was staying at the address and his Audi was parked in a road nearby."
The court heard that McGraw used the petrol and a lighter to set fire to Mr Allerton's Audi, worth £4,000.
But the court heard that the flames from fire spread to a Fiat van, valued at £3,500.
Both vehicles were written off and firefighters were called to put out the flames.
Police went to the defendant's address in Blackheath Close, Longton, and McGraw pulled up in his van at 2.40am.
He initially gave false details to the police and refused to give a breath test.
But he was breathalysed at the police station and gave a reading of 111 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres if breath – the legal limit is 35.
McGraw, now of Sydenham Place, Bentilee, pleaded guilty to theft of petrol, two charges of arson, driving when over the drink-drive limit, sending an offensive message and obstructing a police constable.
The court heard the defendant had a previous conviction of driving with excess alcohol in 2008.
Lee Masters, mitigating, said McGraw had difficulty in accepting his relationship with Miss Blagg was over.
"In his mind, the aggravating feature was that his ex had moved on relatively quickly," he said.
He added that McGraw had a new partner and was due to become a father in December.
Judge Robert Trevor-Jones described it as a 'sad case' but said the arson offences were 'desperately serious'.
He added: "It all arose due to the breakdown of the relationship and your reaction, that your former girlfriend had taken up with another man, a friend.
"You were feeling extremely hurt and distressed.
"You are not the first and won't be the last but you can't go on like this.
"You contacted her in an abusive way and you then set fire to the car of her new boyfriend.
"That spread. That is the real danger of fire. You could have caused untold havoc in the street."
The judge jailed McGraw for 21 months and disqualified him from driving for three years.
Sixty-two days will be deducted due to the 124 days McGraw spent on curfew.