A MAN who set fire to a car and the front door of a house while two children were inside the property has been put behind bars.

Detectives in St Helens have welcomed the sentence given to Christopher Lane for domestic-related arson and other offences.

Lane, of no fixed address, but from Whiston, started the fires while his ex-girlfriend was in the house as well as two children.

He was sentenced to 10 years in prison at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday, January 11.

Lane had previously been in a brief relationship with the victim, which she had attempted to end.

At 4am on Monday, May 18, 2020, emergency services were called to a home in Clock Face to a report that a vehicle had been deliberately set alight.

The front door of the house was also alight and damaged.

No injuries were caused, but the woman was left extremely distressed, having been at home with her two young children at the time of the incident.

Threats had also been made towards the victim.

Lane was located in the Warrington area and detained.

He was later charged with various offences and sentenced for arson with intent to endanger life; witness intimidation and possession of cannabis.

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Speaking after the sentencing, Detective Constable Lesley Prendergast said: "This was an appalling incident which was the culmination of threats and behaviour which left the victim deeply traumatised and in fear for her own safety and that of her children. We believe the front door was set alight as a deliberate attempt to prevent anybody leaving safely, which is just beyond belief.

"To do such a thing knowing full well that there were people inside, including young children, is horrendous and thankfully did not result in any injuries or worse. This incident came from a background of threats and behaviour during and following their brief relationship, all of which has had a lasting psychological and emotional impact on the victim and those around her.

"Lane further added to the suffering of his victim by initially pleading not guilty, which he changed on the second day of the trial but not before dragging out her ordeal further.

"We'd like to take this opportunity to thank her for her bravery and patience as this case progressed, and hope that Lane's significant sentence will provide some comfort as she moves forward in life."

DC Prendergast added: "Domestic abuse can come in many forms, and we have dedicated officers who are specially trained to support victims throughout an investigation. We work closely with partners, charities and other organisations to break the silence and help those in need.

“We know that many people are aware offences are being committed in their neighbourhood or against people they know, but remain silent. I want to encourage those people to do the right thing and come forward so we can take action and help those who need it and those who may not be able to help themselves.

“If you are suffering and can find the courage to come forward, or know someone who may be a victim, please reach out to the police, local authority or support agencies and we will take action."

"If you're a victim of domestic abuse, or know someone who is, and there's an emergency that's ongoing or life is in danger, call 999 now. If you're deaf or hard of hearing, use our textphone service 18000 or text us on 999 if you’ve pre-registered with the emergency SMS service. If you've been the victim of domestic abuse, or are concerned for someone who is, you can report this in the safety of your local police station. If you require a translator, we can provide someone initially by phone and later in person."

Alternatively, people with any non-urgent information on domestic abuse – or who is a victim or who believes someone they know is a victim - can contact direct message @MerPolCC on Twitter, ‘Merseyside Police Contact Centre’ on Facebook, call 101 or contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

People who are deaf or hard of hearing, can use the textphone service on 18001 101.

Further support can also be found at these national agencies:

  • Women’s Aid | womensaid.org.uk | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours) https://www.womensaid.org.uk/information-support/
  • Refuge (includes information for men) | refuge.org.uk | 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)
  • Alternatively, call the National Domestic Violence helpline on 0808 200 0247 (24 hours)

More information can be found at: https://www.merseyside.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/how-to-report-domestic-abuse/