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Maidstone builder Alan Richens threatened to burn down home of ex girlfriend and stab children 'because she cheated'

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A Maidstone builder told a judge how he threatened to burn down the home of an ex-lover because she had cheated on him.

But the judge told furious dad-of-three Alan Richens that the threats to kill the former sweetheart, her child and the other man were "nasty" and jailed him for eight months.

He threatened to burn down her flat Stock picture: Kent Fire and Rescue Service
He threatened to burn down her flat Stock picture: Kent Fire and Rescue Service

Richens, 46, of Westmorland Road, Shepway, has now been ordered not to contact the mother or her boyfriend for two years.

Prosecutor Richard Potts told Maidstone Crown Court that Richens and his victim had been in a relationship for "about a month" in May this year.

He said the woman had earlier been in a longer relationship with another man and had returned to him.

He added: "She communicated that fact to Richens and said she no longer wished to continue their relationship."

From May 17 to 22 angry Richens sent a series of "very offensive" threats to her and her boyfriend including threatening violence and death, he said.

Mr Potts said that Richens threatened to use a firearm and to burn down her house and her children.

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

"In her statement to police she tells very graphically the effects on her and her children. These messages were quite profound on this couple."

Richens, who has a 43-offence criminal record, handed himself in to police when he was told that officers were looking for him and later admitted two charges of harassment.

He read out a letter from his jail cell saying: "I am a hard-working, self-employed builder.

"The reasons for my actions are that I was in a relationship which was going well. It came to my realization that she was having an affair and sleeping with another male.

"When I spoke with her she became aggressive. I spoke with the man and this had a negative effect on me. This individual got under my skin and worked me up to such an extent that I did react in a most childish and definitely stupid way.

"I do have regrets... I am a good citizen and I regret every day sending those stupid messages but I reacted to provocation."

The judge, Recorder Simon Denison QC told him: "You had a short relationship with the victim and she ended it.

"You then sent very nasty and threatening messages, by text and voicemail. Including threats to, in your words '****' them over, threats that he will no longer be able to walk; threats to smash her face in, threats to kill them, threats to stab her and her children.

"Those threats have left her terrified and she feared you would carry out those threats."

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