A scorned girlfriend who set fire to her boyfriend’s home after he dumped her has had her sentence slashed and will soon be reunited with the baby daughter she gave birth to in prison.
Kasey-Lee Schembri, 21, set fire to a babygro and stuffed it through the letterbox of her boyfriend’s home after he ended their relationship on Valentine’s Day.
Schembri said she had snapped after being told by her partner that he wanted nothing to do with the child she was by then four months pregnant with.
Kasey Lee Schembri has seen her sentence cut from two years and two months to 20 months
The 21-year-old set fire to a babygro and stuffed it through the letterbox of her boyfriend’s home after he ended their relationship on Valentine’s Day
She said he had thrown baby clothes out of the flat and covered them with mud outside the block where he lived in Falcon Drive, Cardiff Bay.
When quizzed by police, Schembri said she had not intended to set fire to the flat, but pleaded guilty to arson. Only minor damage was caused.
She was jailed for two years and two months for the offence and breaching a suspended sentence at the city’s crown court in August.
But today, after an appeal to the Court of Appeal, three senior judges quashed the ‘manifestly excessive’ sentence and slashed it to 20 months.
Due to the time she served before she was sentenced, the decision today means Schembri will be freed on licence by the middle of December, allowing her home to take care of the baby.
She was four months pregnant at the time and eventually have birth when she was behind bars
The court heard Schembri and her boyfriend had been in a relationship for about a year
‘She has been in custody since mid-February and has already served nine months and, therefore, has some weeks remaining in custody,’ said Judge Karen Walden-Smith.
‘During those remaining weeks, no doubt steps will be taken by the appropriate authorities to ensure she is properly supported in the community to assist her in her rehabilitation.’
The court heard Schembri and her boyfriend had been in a relationship for about a year and she was four months pregnant when he announced he was dumping her.
She subsequently had the baby behind bars, but due to a lack of facilities at Eastwood Park Prison, was unable to keep her child with her.
A judge agreed that her sentence was ‘manifestly excessive’ and it was cut, meaning she will be free in mid-December
Instead, she has been seeing the baby for two-hour visits once a week, said her barrister, Matthew Roberts.
‘This was somebody who, perhaps unusually, had had great punishment already,’ he told Lady Justice Hallett, Mrs Justice Simler and Judge Walden-Smith.
‘She is absolutely desperate to be reunited with her new child and try to put this matter behind her.
‘Given her young age, this is a lady the court should keep in mind the goal of rehabilitating.’
Giving judgment, Judge Walden-Smith rejected the suggestion that Schembri’s sentence could be suspended to allow her to walk free immediately.
However, the 26-month sentence was ‘manifestly excessive’, she added, cutting it to a total of 20 months.
Schembri will serve no more than half of her sentence in jail before release on licence, meaning she will be free by mid-December.