A TERRIFIED mum thought she would be burned to death by her ex when he locked her in her flat and began to pour what she thought was petrol through her letterbox.

Christopher Ward was jailed after admitting a string of offences arising out of a domestic dispute with Sophie Humphrey-Roberts, when he appeared via videolink at Worcester Crown Court.

The 33-year-old of Dunlin Drive, Kidderminster admitted false imprisonment, common assault and making threats to kill and threats to destroy and damage property during the incident in the town on New Year's Day.

The court heard how Ward, on licence for wounding at the time, had taken the key to the flat. His partner tried to take the key back before he grabbed her arm, causing reddening.

Michael Conry, prosecuting, said: "He walked down the stairs and, once at the bottom, said calmly 'I'm going to petrol bomb your house'."

Ward left, locking her inside the flat before he returned 20 minutes later with a green petrol can and a lighter. He poured liquid from the can through the letterbox, flicked the lighter, shouted and kicked the door.

A cousin aged in his 20s and a four-year-old child were also present inside the flat. She called the police and the defendant asked if she was on the phone to her mum.

Mr Conry said: "He followed that up by saying 'I'm going to your mother's house next'. She assumed he meant he was going to petrol bomb her mother's address as well.

"At that stage she believed he would do it. She was questioning whether she should jump out of a window or go up in a bang."

When police arrived they described fumes from the accelerant as being so strong it was enough to make them gag.

While police were there the complainant received a telephone call from the defendant asking her why she had called police.

Mr Conry said Ward told her 'I'm going to murder you!' - a threat he repeated a number of times. Miss Humphrey-Roberts put Ward on speaker phone at one point so the threat could be heard by police.

Mr Conry said Ward also sent a text apologising, saying 'what I did was scary and silly and I'm probably going to prison now'.

Ward has 19 previous convictions for 47 offences, including a section 18 wounding for which he was jailed for five and a half years in July, 2011.

Lee Masters, defending, said it was water in the can, not petrol. He said: "It was a residue which caused the smell. There was no danger of it being ignited.

"At the time he was in this relationship he was not taking his prescription medication. That was aggravated by the fact that, on that particular night, he had been drinking heavily, it being the New Year period."

Ward was sentenced to five years and two months in prison with an extended sentence of four years because of his dangerousness which means he will face licence conditions on release.

An indefinite restraining order was also made, preventing Ward having contact with the complainants.