A JILTED boyfriend who lit a chip pan on the cooker of his former partner's house when she was out, failed to get a cut in his jail term yesterday.

Carl Anthony Warnock, 37, of Sandown Road, Billingham, was jailed for five years at Teesside Crown Court last September after pleading guilty to arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered.

London's Criminal Appeal Court yesterday refused him permission to challenge his sentence, saying while five years may be on the "severe side" it could not be described as "manifestly excessive".

Mr Justice Davis, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Judge Norman Jones, said Warnock had broken broke into the house.

He splashed paint over the furniture, put the chip pan on the cooker, which he lit, and put the security chain on the front door.

"All this was done in the early hours of the morning in a house which he well knew was in the middle of a terrace," the judge said.

He added the victim was a woman called Michelle, who lived in Billingham.

Warnock and Michelle had begun a relationship in May 2000, but it was never steady and they often split up before getting back together.

In April 2001, Michelle finally told him the relationship was over but Warnock was very reluctant to accept this.

Mr Justice Davis said Warnock did not have a good record.

His previous convictions included assault occasioning actual bodily harm and, in 1999, criminal damage relating to property of a former girlfriend.

The sentencing judge described his conduct as "a wicked series of deliberate acts" noting it was fortunate nobody was hurt.

In arguing for the sentence to be reduced, Warnock's barrister said the offence was not pre-meditated, as he had not had the intention of starting a fire, but he had been looking for a fight.