A jilted boyfriend set fire to cars on the drive of his ex-girlfriend’s Rugby home while she and her family slept inside.
The flames from the two cars spread to a third, and the heat was so intense that windows at the front of the house in Gold Avenue, Cawston, cracked, a judge has heard.
Mundeep Singh Raggi, 24, of Oadby, Leics, was jailed for five years after he pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to arson being reckless whether lives were endangered.
Prosecutor Matthew Barnes said Raggi had been in a relationship with a 20-year-old university student for ten months when she ended it in mid- October 2010. But he would not accept the relationship was over, and phoned and rang the doorbell of her family home in Cawston, in the middle of the night.
On November 8 she left the university to drive home, only to find him waiting by her car. Subsequently Raggi threatened her in a restaurant car park.
Over the next few days Raggi tried several times to contact her before going to her home at 1.30 one morning in November while six members of her family, including a 95-year-old, were asleep in the house.
“Fortunately her father was woken by a loud bang caused by a fire having been started on two of the family’s vehicles, a Mercedes and a Honda.”
Mr Barnes said Raggi had poured petrol over the two cars before setting light to them, and the fire had also spread to a nearby Vauxhall Astra. The fire caused more than £30,000 of damage, and Raggi was obviously the prime suspect. But when arrested he denied any involvement.
Mr Barnes told the court that at the time Raggi was on bail for damaging a car and a window at the home of a neighbour.
Paul Prior, defending, said Raggi was drinking too much while depressed and coming to terms with the death of his father.
But Judge Marten Coates said: “I don’t believe for a minute that had anything to do with this.”
He told Raggi: “The fire you caused was significant, and it was intensive. The evidence against you was overwhelming, but your plea of guilty was very late in the day.”