A MAN who tried to kill himself by setting his house alight, endangering the lives of his neighbours, has been jailed.

Mathew Hayman, 27, set fire to his bathroom and turned on the gas cooker on the day he broke up with his girlfriend, Cerys Yemm, Newport Crown Court heard.

Judge Philip Richards said it was “pure chance” there was not a huge explosion in his street on the night of the incident.

The fire, in Princess Street, Abertillery, could have injured neighbours including Bartosz Rubik, who lived next door, the court heard.

Jailing him for three and a half years, Judge Richards told him: “I have to sentence you for a crime that the law regards as very serious indeed, namely an act of arson being reckless as to whether the lives of others are in danger.

“I impose this sentence with a heavy heart.

“I appreciate this is going to cause a great deal of sadness to your family and to your girlfriend.”

Hayman admitted starting a fire in his bathroom and having tried to gas himself with the cooker on October 20 last year, the court heard.

He told his father and police officers it had been his intention to end his life.

Matthew Thomas, for the defence, said it was clear his client had “hit rock bottom”.

Hayman pleaded guilty to one count of arson.

Judge Richards imposed a further four-month custodial sentence for breaching a community order that was handed to Hayman for having assaulted his girlfriend and another man in a separate incident in December 2012.

Hayman will have to serve half his overall sentence of three years and ten months before he can be released from prison.

Judge Richards also ordered that Hayman pays a statutory £120 surcharge, which will have to be settled within 12 months of his release.