China Posted November 3, 2005 Share Posted November 3, 2005 Dad jailed for setting fire to wife Nov 2 2005 Jackie Bow, South Wales Echo A dad has been jailed after he used an aerosol can as a makeshift flame-thrower to set his wife's hair on fire. A police officer who was called to the house narrowly escaped serious injury by leaping back as a jet of flame shot directly towards his face. Graham and Deborah Caswell had been at the pub just hours earlier celebrating their forthcoming 19th wedding anniversary. Mrs Caswell decided to leave early, leaving her husband to continue drinking, but when he returned a row broke out, Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard. After letting him in she went back upstairs to bed but Caswell grabbed her by the arm and demanded she join him downstairs for a cup of coffee. Fearing he was about to hit her Mrs Caswell, 43, punched him, but he bit her on the cheek, telling her: 'You can give it, I can give it too'. The 37-year-old then went downstairs and grabbed a seven-inch knife, saying: 'Kill me, finish me off, I know you want to.' After eventually handing the knife to his pleading 15-year-old son, he armed himself with several aerosol cans and lighters and said: 'You won't kill me, I'll kill you.' Lighting the spray, he then directed the 'explosion of fire' at his wife. Prosecutor Jonathan Bushell said: 'The defendant directed it at Mrs Caswell, causing her hair to catch fire. 'Her son helped her to put it out and dragged her downstairs away from his father who he feared had gone mad, and phoned for the police. 'The defendant continued to use the cans to spray jets of flame.' By the time officers arrived at the couple's Menelau Square address in Dowlais, Merthyr, Caswell had barricaded himself upstairs with mattresses. As Pc Adrian Jones put his foot on the first step a 2ft long jet of fire shot towards his face from between the banister spindles. Fortunately he escaped serious injury by jumping back. During interviews, Caswell said he had been drinking heavily and rowed with his wife but said he had not intended to hurt anyone. Alex Greenwood, defending, said the father of two accepted he had behaved disgracefully but that while he was not a violent man, he had been left deeply scarred following an assault two years ago. 'It had left a deep psychological scar,' he said. 'He took offence when his wife referred to it and, in essence, snapped.' Caswell, who was supported in court by his wife, son and 12-year-old daughter, admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm and affray, and was sentenced to 12 months. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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