British Judge Rules Gay Executive's Temperamental BF Didn't Start House Fire

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on September 17 2012 3:12 PM ET

A bizarre case in Britain is over now that a judge ruled that a gay executive's boyfriend, prone to temper tantrums, didn't intentionally start a fire that burned down their Brighton home and killed their three cats.

Jonathan Smyth's pricey Brighton townhouse caught fire in January 2008, but the insurance company refused to pay for the damage, saying Smyth's boyfriend, Tony Howe, started the fire in a drunken rage. But a judge ruled it was the couple's female houseguest who likely caused the fire through carelessness, and ordered the insurance company pay hundreds thousands of pounds to Smyth. Houseguest Rebecca Alexander admitted to messiness; she smoked in her bedroom and it's thought one of her cigarettes caused the fire. After the fire, Alexander claimed Howe set the blaze, and that it was in keeping with his ferocious temper.

Both Smyth and Howe admitted the latter man was prone to hissy fits, with Howe saying,  "'I do have other types of 'Tony Tantrum.' I have lain on the floor in (a) Marks & Spenscer (store) completely sober and made everybody laugh because I couldn't get my own way about a bacon sandwich."

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