A BROMSGROVE window cleaner who set fire to his newly built garden shed after a row with his partner has been given a suspended jail sentence.

Jamie Snellus poured petrol on the floor of the shed - described as his "pride and joy" that he had spent weeks building - then set it alight, Worcester Crown Court was told.

Firefighters managed to put out the blaze before it could spread, Cathlyn Orchard prosecuting, told the court.

The 30-year-old had argued with partner Tracy Burford while on a night out drinking with friends on August 16 last year, and took separate taxis back to their home in Grafton Close after an argument.

By his own admission, Snellus was drunk, Miss Orchard said. He kicked the front door and when he got into the house, he smashed doors and windows as well as cups and plates.

"He head butted a window and smashed a TV," Miss Orchard said.

The rampage was estimated to have caused £2,500 worth of damage to the doors and windows.

His partner then asked him how he would like it if she set fire to the large eight metre by four metre garden shed he had spent some weeks building.

Snellus stormed out, smashing a window on the way, then set fire to it himself, Miss Orchard said.

"Flames were rising above the roof and when firefighters arrived, he was aggressive to them," Miss Orchard said.

"If the fire had not been extinguished, it could have spread to a nearby fence and possibly to a nearby house."

The occupants, a family with three children, were away at the time, she said.

Snellus, now of Beech Road, Bromsgrove, pleaded guilty to arson, being reckless as to whether life would be endangered, and to a charge of criminal damage.

Abigail Nixon, defending, said Snellus was of good character and handed in a number of references to the court.

She said it was an argument that got out of hand and when his partner said she was going to burn down his "pride and joy," his response was to say "if anyone sets fire to the shed, it will be me."

"He simply did not think of the consequences," she said. "No-one was hurt and no-one was likely to be hurt."

She said the relationship was now over. Snellus now had a new partner and had started a business as a window cleaner.

Judge Michael Cullum said Snellus had reacted in an extreme way and had started a serious fire that could have got him sent straight to jail. But the fire, he said, had been some distance away from spreading and the circumstances had persuaded him a jail term should be suspended.

He gave Snellus a 21 month sentence suspended for 18 months with supervision with two months to run concurrently for the criminal damage. He was also ordered to pay £1,000 towards costs.