Detective welcomes jail term imposed on ex-lover who set fire to Rowley Regis mum (From Halesowen News)
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Detective welcomes jail term imposed on ex-lover who set fire to Rowley Regis mum
4:06pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
A DETECTIVE who headed the attempted murder investigation of a Rowley Regis mum today welcomed the 19 year prison sentence handed down to her ex-lover.
Damion Sheldon was found guilty of setting his former partner Louise Pilkington on fire after dousing her with petrol before burning down her home, in which a baby was sleeping upstairs.
As the 42-year-old cable layer from Dudley began his sentence Detective Constable Andy Barnsley described him as "a coward".
He said: "This was a horrific crime committed out of pure malice at having been jilted by his partner.
"It is a measure of Sheldon’s character that he went to set fire to his ex-partner’s home in the dead of night and when disturbed by the woman, he doused her in petrol and set fire to her in front of a young child.
"But this horror wasn’t enough for Sheldon who then coolly walked into the house and set fire to the house where a baby was sleeping.
"Like a coward, he then ran off in an attempt to evade justice and when captured, tried to deny any knowledge of the offence blaming his actions on alcohol.
"It is thanks to the woman’s quick thinking, the girl's help and the actions of neighbours and the emergency services that this was prevented from becoming a tragedy.
"I am satisfied that the courts realised the sickening nature of Sheldon’s crime and have handed down a fitting sentence. I am certain that this will come as some comfort to all those affected by the fire."
The jury took under four hours to find Sheldon guilty of attempted murder after last month's trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court.
They heard how her nine-year-old daughter watched in horror as Miss Pilkington was set alight by Sheldon in the door way of their home in Haden Walk.
And they were told how despite her own horrific injuries, the 32-year-old's only concern was for her children, as she screamed out to neighbours, who tried to rescue her 13-month-old daughter.
When firefighters eventually brought out the tot, she endured five anxious minutes as they fought to revive her after momentarily dying from smoke inhalation.
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