05 July 2023

Man who doused wife in petrol and set her alight jailed for minimum 18 years

05 July 2023

A man who threw a bucket of petrol over his wife and set her on fire inside a car has been sentenced to a minimum of 18 years in prison.

Thomas Rainey, 61, of Quarry Road in Knockloughrim, Co Londonderry, had pleaded guilty to the murder of his wife, Katrina Rainey, in October 2021.

Sentencing Rainey at Belfast Crown Court on Wednesday, Mr Justice O’Hara said: “This is a significant prison sentence for a man of 61 but, given the horror of what he did to his wife, it is the least he deserves.”

Speaking outside court, PSNI Detective Inspector Hazel Morrow said Mrs Rainet, a mother-of-six, died a “horrific death”.

“Mrs Rainey was in the car, with her seatbelt on, about to leave for work that morning. Thomas Rainey opened the passenger door; he threw flammable liquid over his wife; and set her alight,” she said.

“On arrival at the scene, officers, along with other emergency services, found Katrina outside the burnt vehicle, having sustained severe and extensive burns to her body. She was taken to hospital but, sadly, later died from her injuries.”

Ms Miller said Ms Rainey was a “caring and loving mother”, adding her and her children and wider family circle, have experienced “unimaginable grief and anguish”.

“They are still trying to come to terms with losing their loved one in such horrific circumstances,” she said.

“Today, thanks to our dedicated investigation team and working in partnership with our colleagues in the Public Prosecution Service, the defendant has been held accountable for his actions. Actions that were deliberate and shocking; and which have left a family shattered.

“While today’s sentencing signifies the end of the judicial process, I know that Katrina’s family will be walking away with the heaviest of hearts. My thoughts remain firmly with them.

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