Drunk dad-of-two who set fire to his partner and threatened to kill her spared jail by Northampton judge

Court hears how he doused her in hand gel and set it alight after drinking bottles of vodka for 24 hours

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 7:40 am
Northampton Crown Court

A phone engineer went on a 24-hour New Year's vodka binge before threatening to kill his partner, a court has been told.

Dad-of-two Marcin Burzynski, 39, had been drinking heavily after struggling to cope with the demands of the long hours he was working to provide for his family, Northampton Crown Court heard yesterday (Tuesday, March 16).

His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo told him the incident "must have been terrifying, not just to the victim but also the children" and sentenced him to 22 months in jail suspended for two years.

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Prosecutors revealed police were called to Burzynski's home on January 2 this year by his terrified partner after he poured five litres of hand gel on her then set it alight.

Bruzynski, a father of two children with additional needs, had been working 'obsessively' in the run up to the incident and had found it difficult to relax.

In a police interview, the victim told officers that her partner of 15 years had never been previously violent, that he was usually 'like a lamb' and that the incident was out of character.

He had been drinking bottles of vodka for 24 hours and taking his son's ADHD medication in when his partner went to visit her family, which he said invoked feelings of ‘paranoia and jealousy.’

On her return, the court heard that he lost control and threatened to throw the victim down the stairs of their Corby home. He then poured five litres of hand gel over her hair and clothes till she was 'soaked' in it and then lit the clothes she was wearing, setting her alight.

Thankfully, the court head, the victim was able to put herself out before the fire caused her any injuries, but subsequent testing of the hand gel suggested that the fire could have 'consumed everything' should it have taken hold.

She tried to run away to her sister's house but Bruzynski grabbed her by the collar, marking her neck.

The defendant then told his partner he'd kill her by burning her anyway, and that calling the police would be no good because they wouldn't believe her.

He then smashed a vodka bottle over his own head and set fire to the victim's discarded clothes on the ground. She then put out the flames again.

In interview he admitted what he had done but his partner said she didn't want to co-operate with the prosecution because her partner was a 'good person and a good father.' She also said she did not want him to go to prison.

No restraining order was applied for by the prosecution.

Mitigating, Charles Roy told the court that his client was of good character and had a steady job.

He said: "This is a man who's acted wholly uncharacteristically.

"Mixing the medication with alcohol provides a marked increase in disinhibition. His inebriation thankfully made him ineffectual."

The starting point for crimes of this type would normally be a two-year prison sentence after a trial. Burzynski was given full credit for his early guilty plea.

Addressing Burzynski, Judge Mayo said: "I have to sentence you for a very frightening episode.

"You have the stress and strain of two children who require special care but your response to that has not been ideal in that you have chosen to drink to excess.

"What you did must have been terrifying, not just to the victim but also the children."

Burzynski was also ordered to reside at a relative's house in Corby and will be subject to an overnight curfew between the house of 9pm and 5am and told to complete a 25-day rehabilitation requirement.

No evidence was offered for a separate charge of grievous bodily harm and a not guilty verdict was recorded.

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