British millionaire and pro golfer Francis McGuirk narrowly avoided jail time for reportedly setting fire to his family home just so his wife couldn’t have it following their breakup.

In a trial that recently ended and saw Francis McGuirk barely avoiding prison time, the 50-year-old golf pro was accused of setting fire to the £900,000 ($1.4 million) house in Sandwich, Kent last year, just to spite his life partner. On June 25 last year, knowing that there was no one home, the father-of-three entered the house he owned with his soon-to-be-ex-wife Sarah, locked himself inside, and snapped the keys inside the locks before texting his partner to let her know that he was about to set the place on fire. He proceeded to do just that, and it was only thanks to the neighbours calling emergency services that the house suffered only minor damage.


“Sarah was at a dinner party on the night of the incident. Knowing the address would be empty, the defendant let himself in,” Prosecutor Caroline Knight told the court. “He locked the doors before snapping the keys in the locks from the inside. He first tried to start a fire using some cooking oil, which didn’t take, so he then set fire to some cushions in the living room using lighter fluid.”