Haverhill man set home alight after threatening partner and her daughter

A fire engine and police cars outside the house in The Keep where a fire broke out ANL-151003-131104001
A fire engine and police cars outside the house in The Keep where a fire broke out ANL-151003-131104001

While the fire he’d lit took hold all around him, Pawel Rozanski calmly smoked a cigarette as police rushed in to subdue him.

Rozanski, 38, has been jailed for four years after setting fire to his home in the Keep in Haverhill and threatening to kill his partner and her daughter on March 9.

Rozanski had to be subdued by police officers using pepper spray and was dragged to safety from a sofa at the house in The Keep as the room filled with dense smoke.

On Friday, July 10, Rozanski appeared at Ipswich Crown Court where he pleaded guilty to arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered, assault and using threatening behaviour.

The court heard how, on March 9, Ewa Sternik Barann returned home with her 13-year-old daughter and one of her friends. Rozanski came downstairs and began arguing with Ms Barann’s daughter before pushing her over, said Nicola May, prosecuting.

Ms Barann, who had been in a relationship with Rozanski for six years, was then grabbed by the head by him and shaken, resulting in her striking her head on the kitchen door.

Miss May said that Ms Barann managed to deflect a blow from Rozanski’s knee with her arm while he made violent threats about killing her and her daughter.

Police were alerted and while they were on the way to the house Ms Barann told Rozanski what was happening but instead of calming him it appeared to enrage him further, said Miss May.

Rozanski went into the kitchen and returned with two 12 inch knives while shouting: “I will kill the police who come here and after that your daughter.”

Shortly afterwards Rozanski went into another room and started playing loud music, which gave Ms Barann the opportunity to flee, said Miss May.

Outside she was met by police officers and was able to tell them what had happened.

As police officers attempted to speak with Rozanski he appeared at the front door and then the back door brandishing the knives and shouting abuse and threats.

Rozanski had said: “Come inside, I’ll show you how we do things in Poland. Fight me, I’m a gangster...I will kill you.”

Rozanski, who had put on a mask and was dressed only in his underwear, was seen through an upstairs window starting a fire which rapidly took hold, resulting in black smoke billowing from the semi-detached rented property.

Miss May said with Rozanski refusing to come out, police had no option but to enter the house where they found him laying on a sofa, smoking a cigarette and laughing. He had to be subdued using spray.

Miss May said: “They effectively had to drag him from the house as smoke started to fill the down stairs.”

Neighbouring properties were evacuated as firefighters tackled the blaze which had been started in a bedroom where bedclothes had been ignited using a cigarette lighter.

When interviewed by police, Rozanski told officers: “I am very, very angry like a bomb” before going on to admit what he had done and confirm that he has assaulted Ms Barann on a previous occasion.

Miss May said: “He stated that his intention was to sit on the sofa and wait for the fire to take hold of him.”

Rozanski had pleaded guilty to arson, being reckless as to whether life was endangered, assault and using threatening behaviour.

Appearing for Rozanski, Andrew Shaw said his client had anger management issues which were made worse when he drank alcohol.

A psychiatric report indicated that if Rozanski could moderate his drinking, he was likely to have fewer anger problems. Mr Shaw said that since his arrest, Rozanski had made a serious attempt to take his own life and was under 24 hour observation.

Jailing him, Judge Rupert Overbury told Rozanski “This was a determined, premeditated action fuelled by alcohol. You risked other peoples’ lives and you damaged property.”