An architect facing divorce has admitted ‘arson with intent do endanger life’ after driving his car into the family home in Horwich, near Bolton.
Andrew McGarry drove his Vauxhall hatchback through the front garden and rammed a wall.
The 37 year-old then climbed out of the burning car and told onlookers: “’I couldn’t have hoped for it to go any better. She’s not having the house.”
He was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder when it was discovered that his estranged wife Heather, 27, and their three children were in the house at the time. The living room window caught fire but she and the children managed to escape through the back door.
McGarry met his wife in 2005 and they married the following year. But the relationship fizzled out and following allegations of domestic violence and Mrs McGarry was granted a non-molestation order last summer which forbade him from contacting her.
However McGarry breached the order and after being warned, drove his car at the house without checking whether anyone was inside at the time.
Judge Timothy Clayson told McGarry: “You were plainly deeply frustrated, angry and annoyed at the break-up of your marriage. You comments at the scene are a further indication of the fixation you had in seeking to inflict damage on your former wife. It is clear to me you are someone with a very controlling, rigid, personality which results in your putting your own interests, feelings and desires ahead of those of others.”
McGarry, who has two children by a previous relationship, was jailed for eight years and also made the subject of an indefinite restraining order. This forbids him from having any contact with his wife or children, or from going anywhere near the family home.