• Home
  • News
  • Entertainment
  • LAD Originals

U OK M8?
Free To Be
Extinct
Citizen Reef

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Not now
OK
Advert

Pensioner Burned Down House With Blowtorch 'To Stop Estranged Wife Getting Share'

Published 
| Last updated 

Pensioner Burned Down House With Blowtorch 'To Stop Estranged Wife Getting Share'

A pensioner burned down his £550,000 house with a blowtorch to stop his estranged wife from getting her share, a court has heard.

John McCorry, 75, was unhappy about the upcoming sale of his cottage in Kennford, near Exeter - where he and his wife Hilary had lived for 20 years.

He had been drinking on 17 June last year - three days before the property was due to be sold - when he set the workshop on fire with a blow torch, Exeter Crown Court heard.

The house was due to be sold three days after the blaze. Credit: Exeter Crown Court Service
The house was due to be sold three days after the blaze. Credit: Exeter Crown Court Service
Advert

He then sat in a chair and drank whiskey as the flames spread, before telling a neighbour: "I'm watching it burn."

The property was due to be sold three days later for £550,000, but the damage was such that it recently sold for £320,000.

McCorry had prevented his wife from removing her belongings earlier in the day and the property was not insured because he had stopped paying premiums without telling his wife, the court heard.

Hilary said her husband was unhappy about their impending divorce.

Advert

According to the Daily Mail, she said: "It did bother him.

"He was also very angry that I had left him. I think he set fire to the house out of spite."

McCorry admitted arson and being reckless as to whether life was endangered, but denied starting the fire deliberately, claiming that he had been drinking and smoking, and could only sit and watch because he was in shock.

He said: "I did not want a divorce. I was not seeking a divorce. I did not want to move out of the house. That came from her end. I was not angry, I was upset.

Advert

"My home life was coming apart. She had relations and children and grandchildren. I had nothing and nowhere to go. I thought I would end up in a bed and breakfast.

"If the sale had gone through, I was due more than a quarter of a million but I didn't have a clue when I was going to get the money."

Judge Keith Cutler dismissed McCorry's account of events.

He will be sentenced in August. Credit: PA
He will be sentenced in August. Credit: PA
Advert

According to the Daily Mail, he said: "This is a very sad case. It may be that the drink he had taken brought on a maudlin and depressed mood and he was thinking about leaving the house he had known and loved.

"He felt resentment about it all. This was a fire started deliberately out of animosity towards his ex-wife with the intention of burning the property down.

"It may have been inspired by him being depressed, but that is what he did and that is why he was in the garden watching the house burn down."

Sentencing has been adjourned until August and McCorry has been granted conditional bail.

Featured Image Credit: Exeter Crown Court Service

Topics: UK News, crime

Jake Massey
More like this
Advert
Advert
Advert

Chosen for YouChosen for You

Entertainment

Rachel Riley Hits Out At Johnny Depp In Explosive Twitter Post

11 hours ago

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Entertainment

Rachel Riley Hits Out At Johnny Depp In Explosive Twitter Post

11 hours ago