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Husband set fire to wife in front of their children.

A man who set fire to his wife in front of their two young children made tasteless jokes to police just minutes later.

Horrified neighbours raised the alarm but police and passers-by were unable to save the life of Mrs April Rock, Lincoln Crown Court was told.

Mrs Rock, aged 33, suffered 95 per cent burns and was so severely injured doctors decided nothing could be done for her.

Husband Thomas Rock (30), of Bourne Road, Spalding, Lincolnshire, was jailed for life after pleading guilty to her murder in August last year.

The court heard Rock had beaten his wife and chased her around their house before dousing her with four litres of petrol during a violent argument.

The couple's two children - aged two and four - and another boy aged five were in the house as Mrs Rock begged him to stop.

After his arrest Rock told police: "Go on, nick me. I hope she's dead - I burned her - it's a shame if she isn't. I am starving, I have just been to a barbecue," said Mr Tim Spencer, prosecuting. He said neighbours had heard shouting from the Rocks' house and Mrs Rock saying "No, no, help".

A neighbour saw April Rock totally engulfed in flames and screaming. Rock left the house leaving the three children and his wife inside. They were rescued by police and a passing builder who had a fire extinguisher.

Mr James Hunt QC, defending, said the remarks made to police were those of a man completely out of control and not himself.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 26, 1998
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