A judge has sentenced a British Army veteran to seven years in jail for crashing a fuel tanker into his estranged wife's house and setting the bungalow on fire.

Hugh Billington admitted driving the truck loaded with 2,000 liters (528 gallons) of kerosene through the front of the house in Wool, southern England, on Jan. 20.

After his wife fled, Billington poured kerosene around the house and tried to light it.

Billington pleaded guilty to arson, assault, dangerous driving and theft.

Defense lawyer Timothy Shorter said 51-year-old Billington had been an exemplary soldier but that "something snapped" after his 30-year marriage broke up.

Judge Roger Jarvis said Billington had been "wickedly irresponsible" and it was pure luck that no one had been hurt.