Jail for woman who torched husband's car

A WOMAN has been jailed after she set fire to her husband's 4x4 in a vain suicide bid, claiming he loved the car more than her.

Harrogate magistrates heard last Thursday how Liezel Halliday drove husband John’s 2,000 Land Rover Discovery from the car park of a pub to their home nearby before using firelighters and matches to set it alight while she sat in the driver’s seat.

But according to prosecutor Sarah Tyrer, as the flames leapt higher and the heat intensified, 47-year-old Halliday became scared, got out of the vehicle and ran off. She was later taken to hospital coughing blood after the incident on June 3.

Mrs Tyrer said the Land Rover turned into a blazing inferno and was completely destroyed before firefighters arrived. The heat had been so intense it had damaged guttering and windows at the family home at The Forge, Dishforth Road, Asenby, near Thirsk.

The court heard Halliday had earlier climbed a ladder armed with a hammer to knock the heads from garden statues which sat on top of pillars, claiming she had bought them, her husband loved them and she wanted to kill herself.

When Halliday pleaded guilty to arson the court, which studied a probation report and two from psychiatrists, heard she had been a chronic alcoholic for a decade and had been drinking two bottles of wine a day

A year ago she had been diagnosed with liver failure and had not been expected to live. But she went on the wagon only to begin binge drinking last Christmas.

Mrs Tyrer said Halliday’s behaviour had become aggressive and her relationship with her husband had deteriorated to the extent that he had taken to sleeping in an outhouse.

Mitigating, Clive Farndon said Halliday had not intended to harm her husband or any member of the family by her actions. ‘‘She was at such a low ebb she was contemplating suicide.’’

Court chairman Lindsay Addyman jailed Halliday for three months, telling her prison was the only appropriate sentence for her reckless and dangerous act.