Denise Welch's stalker jailed for seven years after starting fire on ITV host's driveway

Loose Women panellist Denise Welch, 63, has said she’s been left “permanently scarred”. The former Coronation Street actress gave evidence over video-link from the US as Toraq Wyngard, 64, was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Thursday.

The court heard that, just before 11pm on September 19 2020, Wyngard started a fire in a skip outside her family home.

Following the verdict, Denise said: “It has changed my life. I have a wonderful life and this man has permanently scarred it.”

Wyngard previously admitted to stalking the actress and causing serious alarm or distress for offences that occurred between September 18, 2020, and February 11, 2021.

He also pleaded guilty to charges of possession of a knife, criminal damage, and arson, after setting fire to a skip in the driveway of Welch’s Cheshire home that she shares with husband Lincoln Townley, police said.

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In a statement released by police last year, Denise said she and her husband were relieved Wyngard had pleaded guilty.

Denise told the court: “This whole experience terrified me and continues to do so.”

Lincoln, who appeared via video-link with his wife, said: “My family means everything to me and the thought of not being able to protect them from this experience has left me feeling powerless and angry.”

The court heard that £4,285 of damage was caused by the blaze, which spread to the garage attached to the couple’s house.

Sentencing Wyngard, Judge Michael Leeming said: “You have expressed not a single word of regret, not a single word of concern for your victims at all.

“Your only concern is for your own interests.”

He also made Wyngard subject to a restraining order, with conditions including not to enter Wilmslow, Cheshire.

The judge said: “It is not clear to me, given your attitude to this case, your attempt to vacate your guilty pleas without any proper foundation, and your repeated, continued denials of any criminality, when the risk you pose to Mr and Mrs Townley might reduce to such an extent that the order is no longer required.”

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