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Spurned husband burned wife’s £15,000 clothes for cheating
A NIGHTCLUB owner set his wife’s clothes on fire after he caught her cheating, a court heard.
Anthony Mead, who owns Robert’s in Vineyard Street, Colchester, took clothes worth £15,000 from Sutheera Ashley-Mead’s wardrobe and piled them outside the couple’s house.
He doused them in petrol and sat on a bench watching them go up in flames.
Mead, 58, of The Strood, Mersea , admitted arson when he appeared at Colchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Paul Torn, mitigating, said the incident was sparked by Mead finding out his wife was having an affair.
He said: “The family had a day out and during the day Mrs Ashley-Mead was on her phone texting quite a lot. It raised suspicion. It appeared there was another person in the relationship.
“Mr Mead returned after being to his place of work that night and the next day he asked her to leave and she wouldn’t.”
Mead, who has since separated from his wife, then set fire to her clothes.
Mr Torn said Mrs Ashley-Mead did not want her husband to be punished.
He said: “He saw the petrol canister left by a bench and it demonstrates how very hurt he was that he did what he did.
“He has been under an amount of stress.”
Police went to the house in the early hours of July 18 this year, where they found Mead still sitting on the bench.
Simon Bravery, prosecuting, said it was not known exactly how much the clothes were worth, but they were expensive and thought to be in the region of £15,000.
District Judge John Woollard gave Mead a 12-month suspended prison sentence and ordered him to pay £85 costs.
Despite not jailing him, he said it was right that the prosecution went ahead because the incident had taken place in front of their children and had been reported to police.
The court was told Mead was not ordered to pay any compensation because Mrs Ashley-Mead had not asked for any.