A jilted husband is facing a “significant” prison sentence for trying to murder his wife and her male friend by blowing up her flat by sealing it and creating a gas leak.
Evil Peter Brindley, 50, shoved a bin containing paper under an external gas meter at the property before setting it on fire.
He also poured glue in the lock of the front door of Bethany Brindley’s flat in a bid to trap her in the property and cut the telephone lines so she was unable to ring for help.
Months earlier, the couple had split up after 12 years together and Bethany had moved into a flat in Greenfield Road, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs.
Brindley started the blaze on November 2, 2014 after he discovered Bethany, 37, had invited her workmate Andrew Turner back to her flat to watch a DVD.
Luckily, the pair managed to escape the burning flat despite flames shooting 10ft up the outside walls near the front door.
Brindley was caught when neighbours reported seeing a man in dark clothing walking away from the fire and police found his DNA on the cut telephone cables.
Detectives also found a diary Brindley kept, which included the entry: “Bad dreams again. Woke up and had to check I hadn’t killed you.”
On Tuesday (24/5) Brindley was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder when he appeared at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
Judge Paul Glenn told him: “You have been convicted of two counts of attempted murder and a significant prison sentence is inevitable.”
The court heard Bethany left the couple’s home in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs., following the break-up, and moved to a nearby flat in June 2014.
She and Mr Turner had finished a shift at the Furlong pub in Tunstall, Stoke-on-Trent, when they both returned to her flat.
Hours later the blaze broke out which caused the gas pipe to melt and her neighbours were evacuated amid fears of an explosion.
Prosecutor Bernard Linnemann said: “The view was taken by those who attended – the gas people and the fire brigade – that there was a risk of an explosion and therefore people had to be evacuated.”
A neighbour reported seeing a man in dark clothing in the middle of the road walking away from the scene while smoke billowed from the flats.
Police later went to Brindley’s home and arrested him after seizing his clothes and the chilling diary which he wrote about killing Bethany.
They also found traces of wood glue on his black jacket, a pair of leather gloves and traces of his DNA on the telephone cables he had cut.
Linnemann said: “It’s circumstantial but we say powerful evidence that when you look at the whole picture – he did it.”
The court heard Brindley wrongly blamed Mr Turner for the marriage split.
Just a month before the attack, Brindley chased Mr Turner down the street with a hammer following a row.
Bethany Brindley told the jury: “One minute he would be fine and the next not.
“He made numerous attempts to rekindle the relationship and when it didn’t work he would get angry.”
Brindley, of Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, was remanded in custody for the preparation of pre-sentence and psychiatric reports.