A MAN who made threats to set fire to his ex-partner's home — with her in it — was spared imprisonment, but was made subject to a restraining order by Isle of Wight magistrates.

At an earlier hearing, Mark Barrett, of Holyrood Street, Newport, admitted causing harassment, without violence against a woman, by making multiple threatening phone calls to her on October 18.

From as early as 2.30am that day, jobless Barrett began his prolonged course of abuse.

The victim was so shocked by what she was receiving, she recorded some.

They included "I'm going to kill you", "**** you up", and, most chilling for her, he said "I'll put petrol through your letterbox and burn the house down," said Lauren Stone, prosecuting, at the Isle of Wight Magistrates' Court last Friday (November 10). 

When arrested, Barrett, 29, initially refused to hand his phone over to the police, then refused to divulge his PIN number — but they eventually accessed it.

The couple, with children, split up during the pandemic.

The victim told police she was "absolutely petrified" for her and her children's safety, for fear he would set fire to her home — and had even brought a can of petrol from her shed indoors so Barrett could not use it.

She said she was exhausted by Barrett's behaviour and was "at her wit's end", Miss Stone added.

This was not the first time this had happened with Barrett.

He appeared before Island magistrates in June for a carbon copy offence against another ex-partner and mother of more of his children.

Barrett was put on probation, coupled with a six-year restraining order, in July.

For Barrett, Michael McGoldrick said his client was fortunate to receive bail at the previous hearing, conceding "the messages he sent were incredibly frightening."

At his previous hearing, Barrett was told by a magistrate his situation was dire.

But after considering a report, the bench decided to revoke the probation order he was already made subject to and replaced it with a new two-year order.

It will include him having to undertake 32 sessions on the Building Better Relationships programme.

Together with a restraining order for two years, not to contact his victim, Barrett was fined £300, with a £114 surcharge and £85 costs.