Bogdan Radut had earlier accused his wife of having an affair with her own brother
A “nasty, angry drunk” set fire to his own house after accusing his wife of having an affair with her own brother.
Bogdan Radut, 34, set fire to curtains inside his children’s bedroom as wife Florentina watched on in horror from across the road. The fire spread much quicker than he planned and he then threw a burning duvet out of the window, damaging electrical wiring and a drain pipe.
In the aftermath of the drunken idiocy, he started a live Facebook stream in which he threatened both his wife and her brother and was soon arrested at the scene. He had spent four months in custody since starting the fire at his home on Dodgson Road, Preston, and was spared any further jail time when he was sentenced at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday (June 21).
Prosecuting, Claire Larton said the couple had been married for 14 years and what started as a happy relationship had become embittered as a result of his drinking and gambling problems. The couple have four children and moved to the UK seven years ago for a fresh start. Matters came to a head on July 27 last year when Radut had been drinking heavily.
Ms Larton said: “While he was out, he telephoned his wife and made a number of threats to her, which led her to leave to her brother’s address across the road and tell him what happened. When the defendant returned, he was in drink, a further argument occurred during which he accused her of having a relationship with her brother.”
Radut got increasingly angry during the exchange and was seen pacing up and down, threatening his wife and her brother Claudio, clenching his first and gnashing his teeth.
Ms Larton said: “Florentina got the children and left the house, following her brother. The rest was observed by Florentina from her brother’s house across the road. The defendant came to the property and asked for money and was refused. He returned to the family home and was seen in an upstairs window in the children’s’ room.”
Radut was seen holding fabric and a lighter before flames started to come out of the window. He had set the curtains on fire but was shocked by the speed of the ignition and threw the items onto the floor outside after using smaller objects to smash the window. He left the property and went on to film a live video on Facebook making further threats and was soon arrested nearby, with officers noticing strong smells of smoke and alcohol.
He later admitted to arson and further charges of criminal damage were not pursued. Ms Larton said that Florentina had issued a retraction statement saying the children badly missed their father and that the family was struggling financially without him as he was the main provider. She also sent letters to Judge Guy Mathieson in support of her husband, who had no previous convictions.
Defending, Kim Obrusik said there had been little damage caused and no injuries as a result of Radut’s actions. She said Florentina had not been given the opportunity to complete a victim’s personal statement by the police but had written letters expressing her wish for her husband to be able to come home.
She continued: “He has been extremely frank with the probation service about his drinking and his issues and he is willing after spending four months in prison to continue that. He is very much missing his family.”
Ms Obrusik said he had been imprisoned in Wales which meant he’d had no visitors in that time, while Covid-19 conditions remained in place meaning he spent 23 hours a day in his cell. She said: “He’s undertaken what courses he can but he’s found it very difficult, not only because he’s in a custodial setting but also because he doesn’t speak English so has effectively had no communication with anyone for four months.”
Ms Obrusik said the family had struggled without him and that he was “deeply ashamed” of the hurt he had caused them both during the incident and through his imprisonment since then. She added that he was a hard working man who had been in full-time employment since moving to the UK and would be able to return to work if released.
Sentencing, Judge Mathieson said: “You’re a hard working man with no previous convictions but you are also a nasty, angry drunk and when you are in drink you take out your frustrations on your wife. That’s totally unacceptable. On this occasion you intended to scare or punish her in some way, having shouted at her and accused her of all sorts of things before setting fire to your house. The reason arson is so serious is because once a fire starts, you are no longer in control as to what then happens.
“You are very lucky that more serious damage did not occur to your house and of course extremely lucky that there was no serious consequence or injury, possibly to you but more importantly to your wife, her brother and of course your four children. They could have lost not only their home but also their lives.
“You are lucky in my view to have the continued love and support of your wife and children. They perhaps know you better than I do and know there is more good in you then the person who acted in this way.”
The judge said he was only able to suspend the 15 month sentence for 18 months due to the time already spent in custody. He also ordered Radut to complete a six month alcohol treatment course and 20 days of rehabilitation activity.
- 05:30, 27 JUN 2022