A man who set fire to a woman's family home after breaking into her bedroom to trash it has been jailed.
Harry Page, 24, of Hedgemans Road, Dagenham, subjected his victim to a campaign of abuse for months before targeting her house in September 2021.
Chelmsford Crown Court was told that while his victim was out having lunch with friends, Page video-called her to prove he was in her home in Chelmsford, Essex.
Police were called and arrived to find someone had forced entry through the back door and trashed her bedroom, resulting in hundreds of pounds worth of damage.
While the woman was making a statement to officers at a nearby station, Page called her over 40 times and sent her threatening emails.
When she didn't answer, he repeatedly called her friends demanding to know why she wasn’t answering.
Later that evening, Page re-entered the home, and nearby officers saw smoke rising from the back of the house and found the rear room was on fire.
Page admitted to setting the property alight deliberately, causing over £200,000 worth of damage and the irreplaceable loss of family memories and their belongings.
Page's victim said his actions have left her “petrified", telling police: "The best way I can describe this, is that he has taken my life without killing me.”
Page pleaded guilty to one count each of arson, burglary, stalking involving serious alarm or distress, assault and disclosing private sexual photographs and films with intent to cause distress.
He was also issued with a ten-year restraining order for her and her family members and will remain on licence for a further two years after serving his sentence.
PC Jenny Clarke said: "This is once again an awful example of someone setting out to ruin the life of another person, purely because they haven’t been able to manipulate them and get their own way.
“It’s truly despicable and if it hadn’t been for the bravery of the woman who came forward, I think Page would have continued to torment her for the sheer pleasure of it."