Man Blows Up House While Inside With Ex-Wife To Stop Her Getting It
A man who blew up his house - with himself and his ex-wife inside - because he didn't want her to get the property has been jailed.
Ian Clowes was due to be evicted from the semi-detached house in Poole, Dorset, UK, on the day he triggered the huge gas explosion - which nearly killed the both of them.
Elaine Clowes, 63, was found buried under a pile of rubble in her bedroom, while her 68-yer-old ex-husband suffered severe burns, resulting in him spending the next six weeks in a medically-induced coma.
Clowes was today (Wednesday) jailed for five years and four months at Bournemouth Crown Court.
Judge Jonathan Fuller QC described Clowes' crime on the 22 October as 'wicked'.
He said: "This offence was motivated by a degree of malice. You did not want your wife to get the house that you had bought.
"This was a wicked thing to have done, adding to which the psychological cost, which was huge."
On top of his sentence, Clowes - a house clearer by profession - must also pay compensation to his ex-wife and his neighbour, who was also at home at the time of the blast.
Clowes blew up the property by placing two gas canisters in the all-electric building, before opening up the valve and igniting it.
Stuart Ellacott, prosecuting, cited 'malice' in Clowes' behaviour.
He said: "There is a level of malice with this case. It may be that he did not intend to cause injury to Mrs Clowes but he did not want her to get the house.
"The malice comes from him not wanting her to get what he thought she should not."
The court heard that the couple's marriage ended in 2015, at which point the house was converted into two flats. However, Clowes ran into 'severe financial difficulties' and let the insurance on the 1930s building run out, at which point a court order was issued, allowing Mrs Clowes to take control of both flats with a fee of £65,000 paid to her ex-husband.
Mrs Clowes had planned to reside in one of the flats and sell the other, but her ex-husband was angered by the arrangement.
She told the court via a victim impact statement that she never imagined her ex-husband was capable of being so vengeful.
Mrs Clowes said: "He has shown little regard for me in recent years but I would never suspect he would do something like this.
"Emotionally I have really suffered with stress.
"I have not been able to search for things that are sentimental to me, like jewellery. Someone has also now broken into the site and stolen those things."
Robert Grey, defending, said his client didn't remember the incident or intend to harm anyone.
He said: "Due to the nature of his injuries, Mr Clowes is unable to remember the events prior, during or after the incident.
"He accepts that he must have released the valve but does not remember doing so.
"He says he never meant to cause injury to anyone let alone risk any life."
Featured Image Credit: BNPS