A man who tried to burn down his pregnant ex-girlfriend's flat with her inside has been found guilty of attempted murder. 

Harry Owusu-Manu, 39, of New Kent Road in Southwark, refused to accept that his ex didn’t want to be with him so decided to make her life a misery. 

He began by stalking and harassing her on social media, posting derogatory and Islamophobic stories on Instagram.

But in the early hours of April 25 last year his offending escalated when he tried to burn her flat in Battersea down. 

The victim, who is deaf and was pregnant at the time, and her young daughter had been in the flat and were subsequently treated for smoke inhalation. 

Detective Constable Megan Gittins investigated the fire. She 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.” 

Investigators from London Fire Brigade established that the fire had started after a doormat had been set alight and forced under the her door. 

Owusu-Manu tried to cover his tracks by painting the CCTV cameras black but his distinctive orange van was seen in the area minutes before the fire. 

Officers found dash-cam footage from his own van which showed how Owusu-Manu made his way to the flat to start the blaze. 

Wandsworth Times: Harry Owusu-ManuHarry Owusu-Manu (Image: Met Police)

On Friday (February 23) after a five week trial at the Old Bailey Owusu-Manu was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder. 

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

DC Gittins said: “Owusu-Manu is a terrifying example of the threat women can face for simply wanting to end a relationship. 

“Throughout this process Owusu-Manu changed his account numerous times. Including claiming he was at the location to stop someone else starting the fire. These attempts to obscure the truth have been discredited. His lies have drawn out this process and delayed the justice that the victim deserves. 

“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. 

“Throughout this investigation we supported the victim by ensuring our investigation focused on her needs, for example sign language interpreters were always available to her. 

"The Commissioner has set out in our New Met for London plan our commitment to targeting those who pose the greatest threat to women and girls. We encourage anyone who has been subjected to similar behaviour to come forward and speak to us – we are here to listen and will take what you say seriously.”