A former lover has admitted setting fire to his ex-partner's
house and torching her car after failing to win her back.
Painter Norman Lawrence Gregory, 39, from Whakamarama,
pleaded guilty to a charge of arson in Tauranga District
Court yesterday - a charge which attracts a sentence of up to
14 years' jail.
The police summary of facts reveals Gregory and the victim
had been in a de facto relationship for about a year until it
ended about July.
In August, Gregory attempted to rekindle the relationship and
began texting his ex-partner in an attempt to win her back,
despite her having a new partner.
On August 21, the victim refused to become involved with him
and an angry Gregory sent a threatening text and then
apologised for sending it.
Later that night, after the victim again refused his pleas,
Gregory sent a text to the victim which stated "il kill him,
do you want that? On ur conscience for the rest of ur life; I
mean this sincerely."
The victim asked Gregory to leave her alone.
About 20 minutes later, Gregory went to the victim's home in
Ohauiti and tapped on her window. When she did not respond,
he sent her two texts, the first stated, "babe, im outside
urs; please talk to me" and the second read, "please babe".
Gregory then went to the front of the property and slashed
the two rear tyres of her Nissan with a knife before
returning home to get a container of petrol, some newspaper
and a lighter.
He then returned to her property, stood underneath her
bedroom window, lit a scrunched-up piece of newspaper and
placed it against the house - which caused minor smoke damage
to the side of the building.
Gregory then walked to the front of the property, placed
another piece of newspaper under the victim's motor vehicle,
poured petrol over the top of the vehicle, lit the paper and
The petrol caught fire and the resulting blaze caused a large
amount of damage on the bonnet, windscreen and driver's side
doors of the victim's vehicle.
Gregory told police he was hurt the relationship had ended
and had reacted badly.
He said he knew what he had done was wrong and that someone
could have been hurt or killed.
Reparation of $2500 is sought by the victim's insurance
company and the victim is also seeking $500 reparation for
the insurance excess.
Gregory's lawyer Tony Balme told Judge Thomas Ingram that his
client accepted the reparation figure.
Judge Ingram agreed to bail Gregory and called for community
detention and home detention reports but said he was not
making any promises as to the sentencing outcome on December
- By Sandra Conchie of the Bay of Plenty Times