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A man cruelly doused his girlfriend’s bed in turpentine and set it on fire – while she was still in it.
Cain Meadows carried out the shocking attack at the home of his partner Faye Welding after they had argued because she would not drive him to work.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that the dispute continued throughout the day and into the afternoon, reports the Liverpool Echo.
Ms Welding told Meadows she was thinking of selling her house and moving in with her mother. This enraged Meadows, and he threatened to “burn her house down so she would have no house to sell”.
Meadows fetched turpentine and knives from downstairs, and squirted the accelerant onto the bed while Ms Welding was still laid on it. He then set the bed on fire and she rolled off but damage was caused.
The 28-year-old quickly put the fire out, but then began to punch the victim repeatedly and pressed the knife against her throat and back. He also tipped the mattress on top of her, slashed it repeatedly and made threats to kill her.
CCTV footage taken shortly after then showed Meadows outside carrying a machete, before driving off in Ms Meadows’ car without a licence or insurance. While under the influence of drugs, Meadows crashed the car into a parked vehicle, and the owner of that vehicle witnessed Meadows walking away from the scene with a can of alcohol in his hand.
Extensive damage was caused to both vehicles, and Meadows attempted to run from police after the crash. A victim personal statement written by read by the prosecution detailed the physical and psychological injuries suffered by the victim, and said she “wished she had never got involved with” Meadows.
Meadows of Berwyn Grove, St Helens, appeared in court charged with six counts relating to the one incident.
He has seven previous convictions for 12 offences, including aggravated vehicle taking in September 2018, but has not had any convictions for violent offences. Michael Hegarty, defending, said Meadows had done well with his drug addiction during his time in custody over the last five months, and passed a drugs test two weeks ago.
He said his client was also now the prison radio DJ, and mentors others who are interested in working in this area of the prison.
A doctor who assessed Meadows said: “The borderline/emotionally unstable traits are there all the time, but they have come to the fore more when he is under the influence of substances and when he is in conflict with other people.
“People with these sorts of personality traits are most likely to have problems in intimate relationships, they get into arguments in intimate relationships very easily and often act out in a way that is very extreme.” She added that if he could stay off alcohol and substance, the risk would be “substantially reduced”.
In sentencing, Judge Louise Brandon said: “I have little hesitation in concluding that when under the influence, your behaviour can escalate. It was committed in the home of Ms Welding where she was entitled to feel safe.”
She added: “You left the address before causing further harm, you brought your behaviour to a stop. Now that you are in custody, you are addressing those behaviours.”
Judge Brandon sentenced Meadows to 66 months imprisonment, and issued a restraining order barring him from contacting the victim for eight years. A forfeiture and destruction order was made in respect of the machete, and he was disqualified from driving for 36 months.
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