'She’s not having house or car' – blaze crash husband
7:50am Saturday 19th January 2013 in Local
AN estranged husband set fire to the inside of his car and smashed it into the front of the family home before telling witnesses: “She’s not having the house”, a court was told.
Architect Andrew McGarry’s wife Heather and their three young children were inside the end terraced house in Victoria Road, Horwich, at the time, but no one was injured in the incident on July 24 last year.
Bolton Crown Court heard how McGarry, aged 37, calmly walked away from the fireball of his car embedded in the garden wall, telling one witness: “I couldn’t have hoped for it to go any better.”
Amos Waldman, prosecuting, said McGarry set fire to his Vauxhall Zafira just after 7am.
The incident was captured on the house CCTV system and shown in court.
McGarry met his wife, Heather, in 2005 and they married the following year after the birth of the first of their children, now aged six, four and two.
But the relationship broke down with accusations that McGarry had assaulted his wife, the court was told.
An order was made on June 14 banning him from contacting her or going near her home, but he broke it two weeks later.
Mr Waldman said Mrs McGarry was in the kitchen when her husband crashed into the house, and, fearing the car might explode, she ushered the children out of the back door.
It was claimed that, shortly before the incident, McGarry cancelled the house insurance policy and so now his wife, who has begun divorce proceedings, cannot afford to repair all the damage, which includes £2,600 to replace the front window, smoke damage inside the house and rebuilding the garden wall.
McGarry claims the insurance policy was cancelled several years ago.
He was said to be calm after the incident, telling witnesses: “I want to die.
That’s what I want to do.
“She’s been having an affair and I don’t want her to have the car or the house and this way she isn’t getting either.”
Wayne Jackson, defending, said McGarry had suffered a personality change after suffering brain damage in an accident when he was 16.
“He is deeply ashamed of his behaviour and deeply upset that he could have put his children at risk,”
said Mr Jackson.
At an earlier hearing McGarry, of Croyde Close, Harwood, pleaded guilty to arson with intent to endanger life and breaching a non-molestation order.
Judge Timothy Clayson adjourned sentencing until February 1.