Weeping wife admits setting fire to husband's bed at west Hull home
A WIFE wept as she admitted setting fire to her estranged husband's bed after their marriage collapsed.
Jenifer Ann Cliffe, 30, went to the home she once shared with her estranged husband Mark while he was working as a store manager in the city.
She removed the smoke alarms in the house before setting fire to his bed in the terraced house in west Hull.
Cliffe then sent a text to her husband, telling him "the house has gone".
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Neighbours only realised something was wrong when smoke started pouring through the walls of their houses.
Cliffe, of Weelsby Way, Hessle, wept in the dock at Hull Crown Court as she pleaded guilty to arson being reckless as to whether life is endangered on the afternoon of November 22.
The pair had separated after ten years of marriage and had been together for 14 years. The mum-of-two was decorating at the house in Chanterlands Avenue and, during the course of the day, she sent her former partner a number of text messages.
In one, she asked him to "look after the kids". In another, she wrote "I'm sorry".
Finally, at 5.30pm, she texted him "Sorry I cannot do it any more, I love you, the house is gone".
The fire brigade arrived at the house shortly after receiving calls from the neighbours.
Crews discovered the bed had been set on fire, forcing them to turn their water jets on it.
The bedroom and the upstairs of the house were all affected by smoke damage.
Firefighters discovered two smoke alarms had been removed downstairs and placed on the floor and a third had been taken down upstairs.
Cliffe was nowhere to be found in the house and her estranged husband worked with police to track her down.
Eventually the police traced her to the A63 and she was arrested.
She pleaded guilty on the basis she was not attempting to commit suicide but the Crown Prosecution Service did not accept it.
Judge John Dowse has ordered a psychiatric report before she returns to court for sentencing.
He said: "There is a barrage of information and text messages that need to be considered as to the state of her mind at the time."
Her solicitor Ian Phillip told the court she knew there were "serious consequences" following her actions.
Judge Dowse told her: "You have pleaded guilty to a very serious matter and I am seeking further medical reports to be prepared on you.
"I think you understand why and it is normal in cases such as this. If you fail to turn up to the sentencing hearing, there will be a serious sentence for failing to turn up. You understand if you breach any of your bail conditions there will be serious consequences."
The case has been adjourned for eight weeks and Cliffe is due to be sentenced in April.
She has been granted bail until she returns to court.