Burnley man jailed after car torched in Barnoldswick

Colin Simpson
Colin Simpson

A Burnley man has been jailed for two years for setting fire to his ex-partner’s friend’s car and breaking a restraining order.

Colin Simpson (30), of Clare Street, broke the two year order preventing him from contacting his ex-partner and entering Rankin Close, Barnoldswick, just days after being released from prison in July.

He began sending texts to former girlfriend of four years Laura Greenwood about seeing his son, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Mr David Macro (prosecuting) said Miss Greenwood had received a text from Simpson after he had been released from a 16-week sentence and she had replied “to keep the peace”. Mr Macro said Miss Greenwood was “scared of him”.

Content of the text messages became more threatening, the court heard, and included one saying Simpson knew Miss Greenwood was with Matthew Porter.

Simpson sent another message saying jail meant nothing to him.

Mr Macro said that at around 2am on August 11th, Miss Greenwood and Mr Porter became aware of blue flashing lights outside her house in Barnoldswick and discovered the latter’s car was being hosed down by the fire service.

Later the same day, a police officer was at the house to take statements from Miss Greenwood and Mr Porter when Simpson phoned.

Mr Macro said Simpson shouted down the phone at the officer not to put the phone down. Simpson then handed himself in at Burnley Police Station.

Simpson had pleaded guilty to four counts of breaking the restraining order and one count of arson.

Mr Martin Hackett (defending) said Simpson had “done well” since being remanded and was “feeling a lot better in himself”.

Mr Hackett told the court that Miss Greenwood had continued to write to Simpson to update him on his son.

Mr Hackett said he “lets his thoughts run away with him” which had led him “to act in the disgraceful way” which had brought him to court.

Sentencing, Judge Beverly Lunt said Simpson had put his “entire future at risk” with the arson.

Judge Lunt added: “You should be thanking your victim as she is not closing the door for contact with your son.”

A new five-year restraining order was created preventing Simpson from contacting Miss Greenwood, Mr Porter or entering Rankin Close.