A terrified mum feared for the lives of herself and her three-year-old daughter after a friend’s jealous partner sparked a five-hour siege at her Halifax home.
The mum-of-three almost got away from Kyle Murray during the ordeal at her home in Club Lane, Ovenden, in May, but after she fell to the ground he dragged her back into the house with her young daughter clinging on to her.
As police officers arrived on the the scene of the early morning incident they could see that Murray, who had been drinking alcohol and taking cocaine, was armed with a knife and carrying a petrol can.
Bradford Crown Court heard that the 24-year-old had already poured some petrol out of the can and he told the officers to get back adding:”l’ll ******* light it.”
Murray had a cigarette lighter with him and he was also seen pouring petrol onto the victim.
Prosecutor Duncan Ritchie said the officers could hear the woman and her daughter screaming as Murray poured more petrol around the living room and hallway as well as on himself and the complainant.
At one stage during the stand-off Murray told her:”You’re not going anywhere. You can ******* burn with me in this.”
The victim asked Murray to let her crying daughter go and he initially said:”She can go, but you’re not.”
Mr Ritchie said Murray eventually relented and told her to run.
The victim was “hysterical” when she reached the police officers and Mr Ritchie said both her clothing and the child’s pyjamas had petrol on them.
In her victim impact statement she said:”I was completely in fear for both our lives and all I could think of was how I could save my daughter and get her out before he ignited the petrol.”
Mr Ritchie said a siege situation then developed involving around 20 police officers, including armed officers, as well as police negotiators, fire and ambulance crews and a gas engineer.
He said about 20 homes were also evacuated and Murray was seen pouring petrol over his own head and sparking his lighter.
Eventually Murray was calmed down and he gave himself up to police.
Murray, of Illingworth Road, Halifax, told police he had become paranoid after drinking and taking cocaine and said he wanted to apologise to the victims.
The court heard that Murray had been in a “difficult relationship” with the victim’s friend and the month before the siege he caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to her home and possessions.
A few weeks later Murray assaulted both women before he returned to the home of the victim’s friend and “slashed” her sofas, cushions, mattress and clothing.
Murray told police he had then taken the petrol can from the shed intending to set fire to a suspected love rival’s car, but instead he smashed the vehicle’s windows before turning up at an address in Club Lane at about 7.30am.
After kicking in the door he carried out sustained assaults on both women - he repeatedly punched the victim as she lay in bed with her three screaming children in the same room.
While Murray was upstairs the victim’s friend managed to escape from the house and hide in a neighbour’s garden until the poice arrived.
After picking up a 10-inch knife from the kitchen Murray then threaten to stab the victim as she shielded her children.
Mr Ritchie said the mother told her two boys to run from the bedroom which they did, but the three-year-old wouldn’t leave her mother’s side.
He said the mother and child did manage to get outside briefly, but they were then dragged back into the house.
Murray, who had previous convictions for robbery and grievous bodily harm, pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a series of charges including making threats to kill, assault, criminal damage and causing a public nuisance in relation to the siege.
Today Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC jailed Murray for a total of four years and eight months, but he also imposed an extended period of licence of five years because of the danger posed by the defendant.
“You are dangerous,” the judge told Murray.
“You know it. I know it. any observer knows it. That does not mean you get locked up and the key thrown away, far from it, but it does mean I have to extend the licence period for obvious reasons.”
The judge described the events of the May 2 as “horrific” and said they had arisen out of Murray’s reaction to jealousy and paranoia concerning his partner.
Barrister Charlotte Eastwood, for Murray, submitted that he had expressed genuine remorse and she revealed that her client had tried to commit suicide while in custody.
She said Murray had been acting irrationally at the time and he was clearly someone who wanted, and needed, help.
“The defendant is truly devastated by his actions in relation to these offences and he appreciates fully what an horrific incident it was and the effect his behaviour has had on the victims in this case.”
Judge Durham Hall also imposed indefinite restraining orders which ban Murray from having any contact with either of the women.