May 2021

Orpington thug jailed for trying to burn his ‘princess’ at house in Sittingbourne

A father-of-three wrapped a duvet around his partner who he called his “princess” and then set it alight

Bullying Jack Locke only threw the burning cover into the garden after his terrified ex-girlfriend from Milton Regis, Sittingbourne began to burn

It was just one in a line of “nasty” incidents during a three-day period in April, including threatening to petrol bomb her home and attacking her in revenge after she gave a statement to police, Maidstone Crown Court was told.

Now the 27-year-old has been jailed for two years and five months after he admitted a variety of offences, including arson, assaults, taking revenge and attempting to pervert the course of justice.

Yet his victim later wrote to him saying: “I loved you so much, why did you have to hurt me? I am so scared you are going to kill me but I still love you.”

The court heard how after Locke attempted suicide, his partner called the ambulance service to help him but he became aggressive and the paramedics alerted police.

Locke was quizzed about the arson and the assaults and was bailed on condition he didn’t go to his victim’s home – but he ignored that.

He demanded to be let in and “got in her face” telling her how stupid she was and then bruised her ribs as she was curled up in the foetal position as he punched her.

Locke told her “you need to withdraw your statement otherwise I am going down for a long time” and he forced her to send a message to the investigating officer.

Judge Julian Smith said police then “smelled a rat” and went to her home where neighbours revealed they had fled at night over a garden fence to Penge where they were found by officers.

Locke, formerly of St Mary’s Cray and now of Shorne Close, Orpington, and his former lover had been in an “on-off” relationship for a number of years and had lived together in Sittingbourne.

Prosecutor James Benson told the court how on April 21 the two were watching a TV programme about hospitals – which led to an argument between them involving treatment of one of their children.

“She found the comments upsetting and it led to a row and she told the defendant to go and he left. She then told him he was no longer welcome at her house.

“He returned angry and accused her of putting him out onto the street. As she sat on the sofa he put his forehead against hers and [swore at her].”

Locke then threw a mobile phone at her, which struck his victim on the left thigh and the phone was also damaged.

“He went upstairs and packed his bags returning with a duvet cover and told her: ‘Watch this we are going to burn together!’

“He then put the duvet over them both and set light to the corner with a lighter. It started to burn and she later described how she could feel the heat on her legs.

“He then put out the flames and said: ‘This is what I mean… you just think I am joking’.”

Mr Benson said that two days later, Locke threw a lighter at his victim cutting her left wrist before punching her in her thigh, causing bruising.

He later tried to put his arm around her but she told him: “You’ve hurt me, there’s no going back”.

The bully then picked up a kitchen knife and held it towards her, telling her: “Stay there or I will really **** you up!”

Locke then punched a wall, leaving a large dent, after telling her: “You’re lucky that wasn’t your head!”

And after pouring whisky from a bottle on the floor, he added “Watch… I am going to burn the place down” – which led to the victim fleeing the house.