A man has been jailed for harassing his ex-partner on social media and setting her flat on fire.

Harry Owusu-Manu, of New Kent Road in Southwark was found guilty on February 23 of two counts of attempted murder following a five-week trial at the Old Bailey.

The 39-year-old was also found guilty of aggravated arson with intent to endanger life, religiously aggravated stalking and having a lock knife in a public place.

Owusu-Manu was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 22 years at the Old Bailey today (Friday, May 3).

Detective Constable Megan Gittins investigated the case and said: “It is no exaggeration to say Harry Owusu-Manu made his ex-partner’s life a misery with his behaviour.

“The victim’s home and new baby items including clothes, cot and toys were all destroyed.

“Owusu-Manu refused to accept that she did not want to be in a relationship with him anymore and set about causing her physical and mental harm.

“He began posting derogatory and Islamophobic stories on Instagram but his behaviour soon escalated when he attempted to murder not just his ex-partner but her young daughter and unborn child.

“He also showed extreme disregard for the lives of other residents who could have been seriously injured by his dangerously misguided drive for revenge.

“I want to send a clear message to anyone who is concerned about the behaviour of a current or former partner - the Met is here for you.”

The victim said: "It was devastating that because of this man’s hatefulness I have lost so much that was dear to me.

“I have been deeply traumatised and can never forget the horror of that night.

“I’m just so grateful to the London Fire Brigade for rescuing us and that my children and I are alive.

“I truly thought that we were going to die.

"This has changed my life.

“Losing my lovely home and worse, my sense of security and safety is forever changed.

“I don’t know when I will ever feel truly safe again.

"But I know that I am stronger than he thought and we will be happy again and we will thrive.

“I hope this hateful, cruel man spends decades in prison for endangering our lives and the lives of everyone who lived in that building.

"I would also like to thank the Metropolitan Police for their enduring support, the CPS for dedication to this case and everyone who helped."

This investigation was launched by police after a fire was reported at a flat in Battersea in the early hours of Tuesday, April 25, 2023.

The victim, who is deaf and was pregnant at the time, and her young daughter had been in the flat.

They were subsequently treated for smoke inhalation.

Investigators found that the fire had been started deliberately after a doormat had been set alight and forced under the victim’s door.

While Owusu-Manu had attempted to cover his tracks by spray painting one of the CCTV cameras black, detectives soon found footage of his distinctive orange van arriving minutes before the fire.

The van was quickly identified and Owusu-Manu’s movements were traced from his home address to the victim’s address.

Enquiries revealed that this was not the first time he had made that journey – he had carried out a recce in the days leading up to the fire.

Dash cam footage from the van itself caught the moment Owusu-Manu made his way to the flat to start the fire.

Another recording captured by the dash cam also led detectives to where Owusu-Manu had tried to get rid of the clothes he wore when starting the fire.

Owusu-Manu was arrested later on April 25, 2023 and refused to answer any questions put to him by detectives.

He was charged and convicted.