'Vindictive' arsonist torched couple's dream home after they outbid him for it

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·2 min read
Green was given a suspended sentence for arson. (Norfolk Constabulary)
Green was given a suspended sentence for arson. (Norfolk Constabulary)

A "greedy" homeowner torched a "dream home" hours after its sale when its buyers opted against purchasing his properties.

Matthew Green had put in a last minute offer for the house in Swaffham, Norfolk "to annoy" the couple, police said.

They paid a £32,500 deposit and went out with friends to celebrate the purchase, stopping en route to show them the home – but found it had been set on fire, destroying the property's front.

His arson meant the couple could not complete the sale and lost their deposit after fearing for their safety.

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Green torched the building because he was unhappy the new would-be owners didn't buy his properties. (Norfolk Constabulary)
Green torched the building because he was unhappy the new would-be owners didn't buy his properties. (Norfolk Constabulary)

Temporary Detective Inspector Richard Weller, of Norfolk Constabulary, said: "This was a selfish and vindictive act motivated by greed and control.

"What should have been an exciting move to their dream home quickly became a nightmare for the victims.

"I hope today's result provides some closure to those who suffered from Matthew Green's actions and reassures the public that we will thoroughly investigate crimes such as this to secure a successful prosecution."

Green, 37, of Swaffham, was unhappy that the couple pulled out of the sale of two of his properties because of increasing costs and delays.

The couple showed the house to friends only to find it had been set ablaze. (Norfolk Constabulary)
The couple showed the house to friends only to find it had been set ablaze. (Norfolk Constabulary)

His bid for the house they bought was designed to "annoy" them, but it was refused, police said.

Green went to the house between the afternoons of 26 June and 27 June 2019 – with the couple exchanging contracts on the 26th – and set fire to it.

He admitted arson and was given a 12-month suspended sentence and told to pay £8,796 in damages at Norwich Crown Court on 3 March 2021.

He was also given a restraining order and told to complete 180 hours of unpaid work, as well as a 20-day rehabilitation programme.

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