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Man 'Torched 350,000 Home To Stop His Wife Getting It In Divorce'
Daily Mail ^ | 21st November 2007 | CHRIS BROOKE

Posted on 11/20/2007 7:04:29 PM PST by DogByte6RER

Man 'torched £350,000 home to stop his wife getting it in divorce'

By CHRIS BROOKE

Last updated at 00:57am on 21st November 2007

A furious husband burnt down his £350,000 home to stop his wife receiving it in a divorce settlement, a court heard.

Gary Hooley, a builder, had previously threatened to "knock the house down brick by brick" during one of many heated rows with his wife Michelle.

With the short marriage heading for divorce, he set fire to the house they shared in a callous act of retribution committed while drunk, Sheffield Crown Court was told.

The detached dormer bungalow, which 50-year-old Hooley had extensively renovated inside, was largely gutted and almost all possessions were destroyed in the arson attack in February this year.

No one was inside at the time of the late-night blaze.

Mrs Hooley owned the home, which was hers from a previous marriage and was in her name. She insured it and was paying the mortgage. Her contents insurance included expensive jewellery and 70 pairs of shoes.

Iain Hillis, prosecuting, said: "It may be he realised his marriage was over and wanted to destroy the house."

Police arrested Hooley nearby, sleeping in the front seat of his van.

Hooley, who denies arson, drank eight or nine pints of beer that night. He told police he had nothing to do with the fire and someone else must have started it.

The couple, who had known each other since school, had been going out for two years before getting married.

But it was far from wedded bliss and they agreed on a trial separation last July. After four months apart they agreed to try again, but it did not work.

Asked in court about the state of the marriage at the time of the fire, Mrs Hooley, 49, said: "I think it was just about on its last legs."

Mr Hillis asked her if she wanted to stay married to Hooley. She replied: "No."

The fire happened after the couple had gone to a 50th birthday party for a female friend of Mrs Hooley's in a pub near their home in Barnsley.

Mrs Hooley said her husband had been in a bad mood all evening and they argued when he ignored her request to watch her handbag when she went for a dance.

Although he calmed down when they danced together, he remained "very offhand" and "snappy".

When she told him she could do no right in his eyes, he pushed over a table of drinks and said: "I'm out of here." He told his wife: 'I'm going to have you brick by brick."

She did not feel like going home and stayed with a friend - only to be awoken by a call from the police in the early hours saying her house was on fire.

Mrs Hooley, an adviser for an energy company, said all her clothes and sentimental items were destroyed.

The marital bed and bedroom were burned to a cinder.

Her daughter from a previous relationship, Lauren Hooson, and Lauren's boyfriend, who both lived in the upstairs half of the house, were out at the time. Two dogs were rescued from the blaze.

Under cross-examination by Ian Storey, defending, Mrs Hooley said the marriage had been "full of quarrels". In one earlier row Hooley allegedly told her: "I will bulldoze the house down brick by brick."

And the court heard that when Hooley temporarily moved out in July last year he had asked for his property and she refused to hand it over.

Mrs Hooley admitted her husband's personal belongings had gone up in smoke in the blaze as well as hers, but she denied a defence claim that Hooley had made £50,000 of improvements to the house.

Asked if she was convinced he had started the fire, she said: "I am, yes."

Her father, Trevor Carr, told the court the police rang him to say the house was on fire. He rang Hooley and said: "Do you know your house is on fire?"

Hooley allegedly replied: "So what. It's nothing to do with me." Asked where he was, Hooley said: "I can't tell you that."

The trial continues.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Miscellaneous; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: angermanagement; arson; cheapertokeepher; divorce; marriage; matrimony; waroftheroses
"The marital bed and bedroom were burned to a cinder"

Yes...but this was all burned well before the arson.

1 posted on 11/20/2007 7:04:31 PM PST by DogByte6RER
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Ruins: The couple's £350,000 home was gutted by fire
2 posted on 11/20/2007 7:05:03 PM PST by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Separated: Gary and Michelle Hooley
3 posted on 11/20/2007 7:05:33 PM PST by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: Slings and Arrows

pinging


4 posted on 11/20/2007 7:05:58 PM PST by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

So now he’s waiting for her to get the cash from the insurance payout. And if he’s not in lock-up he’ll burn the cash too.


5 posted on 11/20/2007 7:06:54 PM PST by George from New England
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What does £350,000 equal in US $$$???


6 posted on 11/20/2007 7:08:55 PM PST by DogByte6RER ("Loose lips sink ships")
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To: DogByte6RER

Over 700k.

War of the Roses - Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner. Life imitates art.


7 posted on 11/20/2007 7:11:38 PM PST by Aria (NO RAPIST ENABLER FOR PRESIDENT!!!)
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To: DogByte6RER

I know the dollar is weak right now and there is worldwide housing inflation, but it doesn’t look like it was worth $700,000.


8 posted on 11/20/2007 7:12:27 PM PST by wideminded
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To: wideminded

Property and house pricing in the UK is far higher than over here.


9 posted on 11/20/2007 7:15:43 PM PST by monkeycard (There is no such thing as too much ammo.)
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To: DogByte6RER

So whas da problema? They look like a perfect match with those smirky lil smiles....now kiss and make up...and dang it man easy on the whiskey sours dude.... 70 pairs of shoes ay girl?


10 posted on 11/20/2007 7:20:58 PM PST by tflabo
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To: wideminded

Is it riverfront? (She Insured it?) LOL


11 posted on 11/20/2007 7:22:42 PM PST by eyedigress
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To: DogByte6RER
"Her daughter from a previous relationship, Lauren Hooson"

It appears she didn't marry the first guy - good thing. She'd have been Michelle Hooly Hooson.

12 posted on 11/20/2007 7:32:28 PM PST by Think free or die
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To: monkeycard

Damn right it is. It’s obscenely higher.


13 posted on 11/20/2007 7:55:45 PM PST by Secret Agent Man
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To: DogByte6RER

Hooligans!

14 posted on 11/20/2007 7:57:37 PM PST by bannie
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To: wideminded

“I know the dollar is weak right now and there is worldwide housing inflation,
but it doesn’t look like it was worth $700,000.”

Housing or Real Estate is expensive enough in most of the USA
(even with the current downturn).

But it’s can approach the level of obscenely expensive in places like
the UK (or places in the USA like Los Angeles).

There IS a reason that in the USA you run into people that have fled
places like the UK and other sorts of places.
The places they know they’ll likely never be able to afford a house
or even a bare-bones condo.


15 posted on 11/20/2007 8:06:00 PM PST by VOA
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To: DogByte6RER
Mrs Hooley owned the home, which was hers from a previous marriage and was in her name.

Hmmmmmm. Previous marriage from divorce? or inheritance?

16 posted on 11/20/2007 8:06:50 PM PST by HeartlandOfAmerica (The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.)
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To: DogByte6RER

$700,000 doesn’t go very far there, does it?


17 posted on 11/20/2007 8:14:24 PM PST by PAR35
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To: DogByte6RER

She probably looks much better in firelight.


18 posted on 11/20/2007 8:21:24 PM PST by PLMerite ("Unarmed, one can only flee from Evil. But Evil isn't overcome by fleeing from it." Jeff Cooper)
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To: DogByte6RER
What does £350,000 equal in US $$$???

What does a small two story home with no yard and cheap formstone siding sell for in the UK?
19 posted on 11/20/2007 8:32:41 PM PST by kinoxi
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To: kinoxi

Depends on three things.....location, location and location.


20 posted on 11/20/2007 9:15:47 PM PST by originalbuckeye (I want a hero....I'm holding out for a hero (politically))
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To: DogByte6RER

burn, baby burn... disco inferno!


21 posted on 11/20/2007 9:25:52 PM PST by Trajan88 (www.bullittclub.com)
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To: DogByte6RER
She is lucky he will probably be soon receiving free room and board for a very long time.

Anyone this violent could well decide to take her out also.

And it was her house to begin with! The man is dangerous...

22 posted on 11/20/2007 10:53:26 PM PST by maine-iac7 (",,,but you can't fool all of the people all the time" LINCOLN)
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To: DogByte6RER

The Roof, The Roof, The roof is on fire...


23 posted on 11/21/2007 1:46:31 AM PST by CzarNicky (The problem with bad ideas is that they seemed like good ideas at the time.)
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