You’re fired! He tried to burn me alive – for leaving him

You’re fired! He tried to burn me alive – for leaving him

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Sharna sold her crime story to Real People
Sharna sold her crime story to Real People


When I suffered a miscarriage I expected my boyfriend Colin to support me, so when he accused me of cheating I ended our relationship. But I never could have predicted Colin’s burning desire for revenge…

By Sharna Cox, 22, from Southampton

Grabbing a menu and sipping on a cola, my stomach rumbled in anticipation. ‘The burger sounds good, but so does the chicken,’ I drooled, barely able to make up my mind.

A pub dinner was a real treat. And, even better, my bloke Colin was paying. ‘Working hard is worth it when I get to take you out,’ he grinned.

Colin was a carpenter and, bless him, he did work hard. I didn’t mind though. It was nice to be with a bloke with ambitions.

After three years together, sure we’d had our ups and downs. For one thing, his jealousy drove me up the wall.

But, despite Colin’s faults, I knew he was the one for me. Every day I’d daydream about our future. A big white wedding, a beautiful house, kids…

Then, in November last year, my dreams came true. I discovered I was pregnant. Colin and I had often talked about starting a family. I couldn’t wait to tell him the good news.

Already I could picture that grin on his face as he found out he was going to be a dad. I blurted it out as soon as he came through the door that evening.

But instead of breaking out into a smile, Colin glared at me. ‘I thought you’d be happy,’ I faltered.

‘Well, it’s not mine is it?’ he snapped, turning his head away from me.

‘Of course it’s your baby, don’t be like this,’ I begged. It was hardly the reaction I was hoping for.

But, that evening instead of celebrating we ended up having a furious argument. Colin just wouldn’t believe I hadn’t been cheating.

But how could I prove myself to him when his accusations were so crazy?

There was no mystery man.

Eventually, tired of the yelling, I rammed some spare clothes into a bag. ‘I’m going to my mum’s, I can’t cope with this,’ I said, tears welling in my eyes.


I needed some space, and I was sure Colin would come round once he’d calmed down.

But, a few days later, I still hadn’t heard from Colin when I woke up early with a twisting pain in my abdomen.

I made myself an emergency appointment with my GP, desperately hoping it wasn’t a problem with my pregnancy.

It was bad news though, I was bleeding. ‘I’m afraid you’re having a miscarriage,’ the doctor said, handing me a tissue to dry my eyes.

I was heartbroken. I’d clung on to the dream of us having a family and now there was no baby after all. However, when I told Colin he didn’t even care.

I needed his support more than ever, but he could only think of himself and his crazy false accusations.

‘Fine, it’s over between us!’ I said. I needed a man I could rely on, and that clearly wasn’t Colin.

I spent the next week recovering at my mum’s house, taking medication to make sure the miscarriage was complete.

I barely had time to grieve though, now Colin wouldn’t leave me alone.

He was sending a barrage of text messages every day, claiming he was sorry and he wanted me back. I was having none of it though. He’d had his chance, and he’d blown it.

Back at our flat a few days later, I’d just settled in front of the telly when there was a furious banging on the door.

Peering through the spy hole, I could see it was Colin. He looked angry.

‘I know you’re in there’ he yelled, pounding the woodwork with his fists. ‘Let me in, we need to talk.’

I did my best to ignore him. I didn’t want to hear what he had to say. But, then his rage took a sinister turn.

‘If you don’t let me in, I’m going to set fire to the flat,’ he threatened.

‘Yeah, right,’ I scoffed. I thought he was just trying to provoke me. Then, there was silence. Finally, Colin had got the message….

But, a few minutes later, I heard the letterbox rattling. I leapt up off the sofa in time to see liquid trickling down onto my carpet. With one sniff of the air I knew it was lighter fluid.

‘I warned you.’ Colin shouted. ‘If I can’t have you no-one can.’

In desperation I tried to leap through the front window, but Colin was there blocking my way. One flick of his lighter and the whole block would go up in flames.

Instead, I grabbed my mobile and dialled 999 and screamed down the phone.

‘He’s going to set my flat on fire,’ I cried.

Thankfully, four police cars and a helicopter turned up before Colin could spark a fire. As soon as he heard the sirens he legged it.

‘Come on, let’s get you somewhere safe,’ a police officer kindly said, guiding me to a car.

Shaking, I gave them directions back to my mum’s house. There, gripping a cup of sweet tea, I told them everything Colin had said.

‘Don’t worry, we’ll find him,’ the police said.


Colin spent three days on the run, texting me every few hours to brag that he still hadn’t been arrested.

He could have killed me, and he didn’t even care.

Eventually he was arrested for threatening criminal damage, and in December I was relieved to see him jailed for two years at Southampton Crown Court.

Now I’m moving on with my life, without him. Colin deserves prison. His burning desire for revenge could have cost me my life.

Sharna wanted to speak out with her story and encourage and support other women who may have experienced violence in a relationship. She knew that telling her story to a women’s magazine would make a difference and so we helped Sharna sell her story to Real People magazine. If you want to tell your story, contact us via the form on the right and we’ll chat you through your options.