Leicester family lose everything as jealous ex-partner burns home
A mother of two has told of her anguish at losing all their possessions in a house fire started by her jealous ex-partner.
Payun Simon, who was jailed for four-and-a-half years yesterday, torched the place to punish Kirsty Roworth for going on a date with her new boyfriend.
He used bricks to smash his way into her rented home in Wicklow Drive, Crown Hills, Leicester, on March 26.
As he set fire to the living room sofa and double bed upstairs, he spared no thought for the 75-year-old man in the next door semi, who was taken to safety by a neighbour.
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Miss Roworth did not have contents insurance and lost everything, including clothing and the children's toys.
The blaze left her home uninhabitable, Leicester Crown Court was told.
Simon (23), of Ipswich Close, Leicester, admitted arson being reckless as to whether the life of the pensioner next door would be endangered.
Miss Roworth is now staying at her mother's Belgrave home, sharing a room with her one-and-a-half year-old son and two-and-a-half-year-old daughter.
The 23-year-old said outside court: "I can't forgive him.
"The children were devastated. How could he do such a thing?
"He's supposed to help provide for them, not to destroy everything they had. As he set fire to the settee he would have known their box of toys was behind it.
"It's also distressing when my daughter says how much she misses her pink bedroom and her goldfish, which died in the fire.
"Walking past the house the other day my little girl said 'Look mummy, daddy burned it'.
"He's wrecked my independence and we're having to scrape by to start again."
The couple's relationship, which began in late 2008, ended a few weeks before the fire, although they maintained contact so Simon could see his children.
On the evening of the fire, Simon backed out of an arrangement to have the children and they argued.
Miss Roworth went for a meal with her new boyfriend and friends, while her sister looked after the youngsters at her home across the road.
At about 8.40pm, Miss Roworth received a call saying the house was on fire.
Thousands of pounds worth of damage was caused to house, owned by a property company.
Vigilant neighbour Derek Bishop asked his wife to call the emergency services before leading the pensioner next door to the burning house to safety.
Sentencing, Judge Michael Pert QC told Simon: "You effectively destroyed the house, which was rendered uninhabitable. It was done in selfish and immature fashion, but more than that, a wicked fashion."
Simon went to a police station, at 11pm that night, claiming he had received threats from Miss Roworth, but denying involvement in the fire. Glass fragments on his clothing were found to match broken glass from windows smashed at the house.
Helen Johnson, mitigating, said: "The offence is out of character."