A Lutterworth man who forced a terrified family-of-six to flee for their lives when he set two caravans alight after he torched his ex-girlfriend’s caravan was today (Tuesday) jailed for 12 years.
Lord Curtis Lodge, 33, was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court today after sparking the terrifying night-time drama which could have killed a couple and their four children aged from two to 11.
Lodge, of Golfview Rise, Moorbarns Lane, Lutterworth, is back behind bars just three years after he was jailed for three years four months after he blasted a car with a shotgun before trying to set it alight.
The latest drama happened on the evening of Saturday November 28 last year.
Lodge sent his former partner text messages threatening to “burn her place down”.
He threatened to target a static caravan she owned at a mobile home site on Wymeswold Road at Hoton, near Loughborough.
His ex-girlfriend was not there at the time.
But in the early hours of Sunday morning, she got a text from a relative telling her that her caravan was blazing in the pitch-black darkness.
She was told a short time later that it had been gutted.
The fire was so fierce that flames quickly spread to two nearby mobile homes belonging to another member of her family.
The mum in one of them woke up at 3.30am to see flames leaping up outside her window.
She dashed to save her 11-year-old daughter who was sleeping in another caravan just feet away.
The mum’s partner heard her screams and he rescued their three other children, aged two, six and nine, before all three caravans were totally burned out.
A lorry and three fairground rides were also caught up in the arson attack causing £156,000 damage, Leicester Crown Court heard.
Lodge was arrested by police just hours later that day.
Detectives studied his phone and confirmed he had been bombarding his former girlfriend with threats.
The caravan owners at the centre of the drama said Lodge’s horrific attack have had a massive impact on their lives.
They say that almost a year later they are still struggling to sleep – and his crime has slashed their income.
Lodge was imprisoned for 12 years at Leicester Crown Court today after he was found guilty of one count of arson with intent to endanger life on July 1.
The arsonist will be placed on a three-year extended licence when he is released.
Lodge will also have a restraining order slapped on him forbidding him from contacting his victims or entering the Leicestershire borough of Charnwood.
Speaking after Lodge was jailed, Det Con Aimee Farmer, of Leicestershire Police’s Complex Investigation Team, said: “Lodge set alight to the caravan with the intention of causing as much damage as possible.
“He didn’t care who he hurt – physically or emotionally.
“Thankfully those who were sleeping at the time managed to escape unharmed - but they are still living with the consequences of his actions that night.”
She added: “I know they are still trying to rebuild their lives.
“But I hope they can find some relief from the fact he has been brought to justice and will be spending time in prison, meaning that they may finally be able to move on.”
Lodge, who was then living in South Ockendon, Essex, was locked up for three years four months at Basildon Crown Court in May 2018 for having a loaded shotgun in a public place.
He was also handed two years, to run concurrently, for attempted arson.
Lodge admitted the offences.