A woman has been spared jail after she attacked a man who had previously been accused of rape.

Lucinda Perry, 37, saw her victim in a pub in Stoke-on-Trent where she went over and punched him in the face.

She then went outside into the car park and scratched the word ‘rapist’ onto either side of his car.

The victim, who was charged with rape but never convicted, left the pub and drove back to his house where he then noticed the damage to his car.

However, Perry – who was not the one who made the previous rape allegations – followed him home and he saw her get a jerrycan filled with petrol out of the boot of her car.

She then poured it on the boot, roof and front of the vehicle and set it alight.

Prosecutor Brian McKenna said: ‘He made for the front door of his home and, as he did so, he saw a flash of light from the street outside. When he got there he saw his vehicle was on fire.’

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Perry, from Basford, Nottingham, suffered a burn to her arm and was arrested the following day. She pleaded guilty to assault, damaging property and arson.

Barry White, mitigating, said: ‘Her actions were very much out of character. She has no previous convictions.’

Perry was handed a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and a 35-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

She was also ordered to pay £500 compensation.

Judge David Fletcher told her: ‘No matter how angry and hurt you were feeling we cannot, in a civilised society, allow people to take the law into their own hands in this way.’

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