Jealous ex started $154,000 fire at woman's home

A MAN set fire to his ex-partner's house in a jealous rage after arguing with her about another lover.

Ipswich District Court heard the house was gutted in the attack, which started in the bedroom before engulfing the home.

Joshua Winston Williams, 36, went to the woman's Leichhardt housing commission residence and forced his way in.

No-one was home at the time.

Williams sat in the house, which the pair shared before the bitter split, contemplating what to do while smoking cannabis.

He found some whipper snipper fuel, poured it around a bedroom and set the bed alight.

He fled, only to think he could hear people inside the house so tried to get back in but was overcome with smoke.

Multiple fire crews attended on the day of the blaze, on September 18 last year, but the house was destroyed.

Investigators found two ignition points in the house and determined it would cost $154,000 to replace the dwelling

Police arrested Williams three days later and he was charged with arson. During interviews, he also confessed to a string of burglaries across Ipswich.

He went with detectives on a drive-around where he pointed out various houses he'd broken into.

Crown prosecutor Chris Cook said Williams stole about $6000 in goods including cash, jewellery, air-conditioners and water pumps.

Williams said before he set fire to the house he and his ex argued about another man he thought she was seeing.

He said when he found the whipper snipper fuel and had only intended to set the bedroom alight. Williams pleaded guilty to arson and burglary and sentenced to six-and-a-half years jail to be suspended after two years.

With time already spent in custody, he can apply for parole on September 20 next year.

Mr Cook said Williams had an extensive criminal history including 123 prior convictions for property and dishonesty offences.

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