3:12pm Wednesday 26th February 2014
A JILTED boyfriend who was caged for 19 years after trying to burn his ex- girlfriend alive at their Rowley Regis home has lost his appeal for a lesser sentence.
The Court of Appeal ruled Damion Sheldon’ s punishment was “richly deserved” for the attempted murder of mother-of-two Louise Pilkington.
She was left scarred for life and her baby nearly died in the fire at the house in Haden Walk in 2012 after being overcome by smoke.
On Tuesday top judges Lady Justice Sharp Mr Justice Sweeney and Judge Stephen Kramer QC dismissed claims by Sheldon’s lawyers that the sentence was too tough.
"These were horrifying offences which clearly called for a lengthy custodial sentence," said Judge Kramer.
Miss Pilkington, who was unaware of the appeal, wept when she heard the news and said she was “relieved” it had failed.
The 32-year-old, who has started a fresh life in a new home in the Rowley Regis area, with her two children, said: “He didn’t get long enough if you ask me.
“I can’t believe his audacity in going to appeal after what he did to us. He’s scum.”
Judge Kramer said the psychological consequences for Miss Pilkington and her eldest child who witnessed the attack were "incalculable".
He added: "In our judgment, the judge was correct to impose severe sentences and for the sentences to be imposed consecutively."
Sheldon, of Russells Hall Road, Dudley, admitted reckless arson and was found guilty of attempted murder. He was jailed at Wolverhampton Crown Court last August.
The 43-year-old used petrol to set fire to Miss Pilkington when she answered door to him in December 2012.
She survived by throwing off her blazing dressing gown and rolling on the lawn, but needed skin grafts and is scared on her back, neck and arm.
Her baby was rescued from a smoke-filled bedroom and resuscitated by a firefighter.
Miss Pilkington, who hopes to resume her career as a care assistant, said: “I’m ok, I still have bad days but everything is good now.”
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