A MAN who torched his former partner’s home while she was out at the shops is facing a prison sentence.

Phillip Evans broke into Emma Paul’s home in The Avenue, West Moors on January 9 and doused the interior with flammable solvent acetone.

He then set fire to the building. A court heard the 55-year-old planned to commit suicide, but jumped from a first floor window when the heat became too intense.

Miss Paul, 42, lost all of her possessions in the inferno.

She had been in a relationship with Evans, a boat builder, but the couple split up in September 2017.

Two months later, she was forced to take out a restraining order against him due to his erratic behaviour.

However, on the day of the fire, Evans drove past her home in his works van. When he realised she wasn’t at the address, he broke in using a crowbar and wedged the tool over the front door so no one could come in.

He then took a quantity of paracetamol and Tramadol and started the fire.

Jane Rowley, prosecuting at Bournemouth Crown Court, said: “The fire started at about 1pm. Miss Paul would normally have been at home at that time - it was pure chance that day that she had gone out shopping nearby.

“Evans made clear admissions. He said he couldn’t keep away. He drove past her mother’s address to see if her car was there.

“It was, so he drove in his works van with two five-litre cans of acetone, which he used to clean tools at work, and broke into her home using a crow bar to force the door.

“He set fire to newspapers before getting the large crow bar to wedge the front door shut to stop anybody else entering. The fire caught quickly and spread.”

Evans went to lie down on a bed upstairs. He then got too hot, took off his shirt and opened the window.

Members of the public saw him hanging from the window and shouted for him to get out. He lowered himself to the ground and a bystander dragged him away from the house.

Miss Paul’s property was “totally destroyed”.

“These were deliberate acts designed to cause maximum damage and distress,” said Ms Rowley.

“[Miss Paul] lost her home. She had nothing left apart from the items she had about her and her vehicle.”

Evans initially pleaded guilty to arson but denied a charge of arson being reckless as to whether life would be endangered.

He changed his plea to guilty after Miss Rowley’s opening prosecution statement at the trial.

His barrister Timothy Bradbury said Evans had asked to change his plea, saying he did not wish to put Miss Paul through any more emotional turmoil.

Evans, of Ringwood Road, Three Legged Cross, also admitted breaching a restraining order.

Judge Stephen Climie adjourned the case for reports to be carried out before sentencing and remanded him in custody.