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Former soldier poured petrol over himself and Medway home after row with BT, court hears

A former soldier poured petrol over himself and his Medway home after a bust-up with BT, it has been alleged.

Father-of-two Troy Loader - who served in Afghanistan - is also accused of bullying and threatening to kill his wife.

Troy Loader denies the charges
Troy Loader denies the charges

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard how she fled their home and police took 40 minutes to get inside where they found "an arsenal of weapons".

Loader, 51, of Sundridge Drive, Lordswood, has denied four charges.

They are: making a threat to kill, controlling and coercive behaviour, attempted arson and an alternative charge of threatening to destroy property.

Prosecutor Kathryn Hirst claimed the death threats were made in 2015 but the incident on July 29 last year was "a culmination of the defendant's behaviour towards his wife".

The jury heard how the couple had been married for 27 years but for the past five years they were living separate lives.

"PTSD might be a partial explanation... but it is not an excuse. And if you'll pardon the pun, the defendant had a short fuse..."

Ms Hirst said: "She was trapped within the relationship because financially she was unable to move out... because of his intransigence and stubbornness.

"The defendant, we say, has clearly been affected by his experiences in the army and has since then returned to Afghanistan to work in security for contractors."

Loader is alleged to have used "gaslighting" as a way of controlling her, making her feel unworthy, unequal and accusing her of cheating.

The prosecutor added: "We are not talking about an alpha male.... or a slightly domineering husband, or someone who is a bit bossy. "

She claimed that people who know him say he suffers from PTSD from his army experiences.

"It might be a partial explanation... but it is not an excuse. And if you'll pardon the pun, the defendant had a short fuse.

"He was often angry... taking his anger out on his wife. He was controlling and he was a bully, " she alleged.

Ms Hirst claimed the security expert terrified his wife because of what she claimed was his unhealthy interest in weapons.

When police went to their home they discovered he had crossbows, knives, an air rifle and other air weapons - all legally held.

"It was what could be properly described as an arsenal of weapons, " she alleged.

When he was interviewed by police, he claimed his wife knew how to "press his buttons" although he admitted getting angry from time to time but denied using violence towards her.

But Ms Hirst claimed that "on a daily basis" he threatened to "smash her skull or slit her throat".

It culminated in an incident in July last year when he fell out with BT and threatened to burn one of their boxes.

The prosecutor claimed he went out and returned with an jerry can with petrol and a match, pouring the fuel on the carpet and over himself.

Mrs Loader fled the house and called the police who spent 40 minutes talking with Loader before being allowed inside"where the place stank of petrol."

The trial continues.

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