A man who was jailed for blowing up his marital home while his estranged wife was inside died from mouth cancer at an Andover hospice, an inquest has heard.

Ian Clowes passed away at the Countess of Brecknock Hospice while serving a five year prison sentence at HMP Winchester after pleading guilty to arson reckless to endangering life at Bournemouth Crown Court in May 2019.

The court heard that the 68-year-old had used a large butane gas cylinder to cause an explosion which caused “catastrophic damage” to the house which had been converted into separate flats for Mr Clowes and his estranged wife, Elaine. On the day of the blast, Mrs Clowes was due to take possession of the upstairs flat following the order of a family court allowing her to buy out her husband.

Mrs Clowes escaped uninjured from the building in Poole, Dorset, but Mr Clowes suffered 30 per cent burns and life-threatening injuries in the incident on October 22 2018. The flats, and a neighbouring property, suffered £600,000 worth of damage and were left uninhabitable following the blast.

The inquest heard that Clowes, who was serving his sentence at HMP Winchester, was referred to hospital in October 2019 after he notice a growth inside of his cheek.

After a biopsy and CT scan confirmed that the growth was cancerous, Clowes initially refused surgery. He subsequently did later accept radiotherapy but only as palliative care, Winchester Coroners’ Court was told.

Coroner Jason Pegg said that by September 2020, Clowes’ condition had deteriorated and he was transferred to the Countess of Brecknock Hospice in Andover for end-of-life care. He died in the hospice on September 13, with mouth cancer given as the cause of death.

Recording a verdict of death as a result of natural causes, Mr Pegg said: “Mr Clowes was offered appropriate care for his condition whilst detained, but sadly the condition was always going to result in his death.”

The coroner passed on his condolences to Mr Clowes’ family, who were not present at the hearing.