Angry wife sets fire to house with husband inside

PUBLISHED: 14:29 20 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:29 20 December 2019

Damage done by a fire at a property in Topsham. Picture: Topsham Fire Station

Damage done by a fire at a property in Topsham. Picture: Topsham Fire Station

Archant

An estranged wife set light to her husband's holiday home - causing £75,000 worth of damage - after he barricaded himself in an upstairs room to get away from her.

Alexandra Page started wrecking the terraced house in Topsham after turning up unexpectedly while her husband was staying there in July this year.

She became angry when he would not talk to her and tore pages out of books in the living room before setting them alight on a sofa with lighter fluid.

He heard the commotion downstairs and rang her from the attic to ask what was happening. She replied: "You'd better come downstairs because the house is about to be burned down."

He escaped unhurt and rescued Page as he fled the house.

Retained firefighters put out the blaze but the front room was gutted with damage costing £75,000.

Page, aged 43, of Cotham Park, Bristol, admitted arson and was sent to a psychiatric unit under a hospital order by Judge James Townsend.

He told her that treatment is the best course for her and society and the most effective way to prevent any further offending.

Richard Crabb, prosecuting, said Page and her husband are separated and both live in Bristol, but had the house in Topsham as a holiday cottage.

Mr Crabb said: "Something or other upset her and he heard banging, crashing and shouting from downstairs.

"She had lit a fire on a sofa using pages torn from a book and lighter fluid. It took hold and caused extensive damage.

"Fortunately Mr Page was able to escape and also rescued his wife, who could not get out because the door was locked.

"The fire brigade and police attended. The ballpark figure for damage to the building is £60,000 with another £15,000 for contents.

"She admitted at the scene she had started the fire and said she was angry and just wanted to get back at him."

Peter Coombe, defending, said Page disputed using lighter fluid and said she had lit paper in the living room floor.

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