A jilted boyfriend who could have killed his former partner when he broke into her home and poisoned her mouthwash with bleach has been jailed for 12 months.

Amy Burgess almost drank the highly toxic substance after vengeful Christopher Marsden made the “mean and spiteful” switch, Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday.

Judge Peter Benson branded 28-year-old Marsden a controlling bully and said he was a high risk to the women he became involved with. Marsden used ladders to climb through a window at Miss Burgess’s house after their three-year relationship ended.

Nicholas Dry, prosecuting, said Marsden scattered Miss Burgess’s possessions around her bedroom and threw items on to the roof through a skylight.

He went into the bathroom and emptied her mouthwash bottle, replacing the green liquid with yellow bleach. Miss Burgess almost drank it when she returned to her home at Binks Fold, Wyke, Bradford.

A neighbour told her he had seen Marsden, formerly of Brentford Road, Low Moor, Bradford, standing at the bedroom window.

Marsden, formerly of Brentford Road, Low Moor, Bradford, was arrested on August 24 last year, three days after the break-in. His attempt to convince a judge at an earlier hearing that he and Miss Burgess had used bleach to whiten their teeth was rejected. Marsden pleaded guilty to burglary, criminal damage and attempting to administer a poison with intent to annoy.

In mitigation, Michael Reeves said Marsden had left Bradford to begin a new life in Portsmouth with a new partner. Marsden deeply regretted filling the mouthwash bottle with bleach but thought the switch would be obvious to Miss Burgess, he said.

The judge made a restraining order banning Marsden from contacting Miss Burgess or entering the street where she lives.

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